Time magazine’s Alexandra Sifferlin published an article, entitled, “Eating Healthy Is Cheaper than You Think.” In the article, Sifferlin compares the cost of an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet. In order to make the comparison, Sifferlin cites a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). After crunching the numbers, the HSPH makes it official: The healthiest diets cost just $1.50 more per day than unhealthy diets.
“While healthier diets did cost more, the difference was smaller than many people might have expected. Over the course of a year, $1.50 [per] day more for eating a healthy diet would increase food costs for one person by about $550 per year,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, associate professor, HSPH and Harvard Medical School.
How did the HSPH team arrive at this conclusion? They conducted a meta-analysis of 27 studies from 10 higher income countries that compared price points for healthy and less healthy diets. Specifically, the team studied the price differences per serving and per 200 calories for a variety of specific foods, as well as prices per day and per 2,000 calories, which is the average daily recommended caloric intake for U.S. adults.