Study: Price cuts for fruit and vegetables would avoid thousands of deaths every year

Study: Price cuts for fruit and vegetables would avoid thousands of deaths every year

Fruits and vegetables protect against heart diseases, but are too expensive
Fresh fruits and vegetables are usually not really cheap. For this reason, many families do without such foods in order to save money. But these foods in particular reduce the likelihood of various cardiovascular diseases. A reduction in the price of fruit and vegetables could thus prevent many deaths every year.

Some people try to save money by not buying fruits and vegetables. Because the fresh food is usually not really cheap. Researchers now found in a research that many lives could be saved each year if fruit and vegetable prices were lowered. The international research team published the results of its work at a meeting of the American Heart Association.

Experts call for media campaigns and price cuts
Poor nutrition is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. These cause most deaths in the United States, lead researcher Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard said when presenting the study results. Governments would need to implement effective nutrition policies to deal with the growing burden. Campaigns in mass media and price cuts for fruits and vegetables are important tools in achieving this goal, the doctor adds.

Every adult should eat just under five servings of fruit and vegetables a day
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help the body protect the heart from high blood pressure and the effects of cholesterol. They also reduce the risk of heart disease, the researchers explain. An active adult should consume about 2,000 calories a day. The diet should contain at least 4.5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to give our heart health benefits. If the price of fruits and vegetables is reduced, many consumers could buy more of the healthy foods, the researchers conclude. A price cut of about ten percent over the next 15 years could save around 64,000 to 69,000 lives in the United States, which would otherwise die from the effects of heart disease.

30 percent price cut could save up to 205,000 lives by 2030
In their next calculation, the researchers discovered that a 30 percent price cut in fruit and vegetables could save between 191,000 and 205,000 lives in the same period. The researchers based their calculation on the death rates of cardiac patients by 2030. They attempted to estimate how many people would die from heart disease in the next 15 years and compared the death rate to the number of human lives from eating more fruits and vegetables could be saved. In addition, there are people who want to eat healthy, but do not have the financial freedom to do so, the doctors explain. If the prices of fruits and vegetables are reduced, these people could buy more healthy foods without having to pay attention to their budget. This price cut would make it possible for many people to buy more fruits and vegetables and it would improve the nutrition of those affected. This fact can ultimately lower the risk of heart disease, the experts say.

Fruit and vegetables should be subsidized
The awareness, availability and affordability of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables must improve, explains Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Measures should be taken to subsidize fruit and vegetables. This could have positive health effects that are independent of race or ethnic group, the doctor adds. The price of healthy food could be reduced quickly and would significantly improve the health of the population, the researchers emphasized. (as)

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