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  1. #1
    Air
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Being thin getting more expensive?

    From here

    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    There is a tipping point. I notice it in the city - the middle and lower class really find it hard to afford to eat healthy while those more well off can. Straight up groceries are more expensive - it's cheaper to buy a can of potatoes in syrup then the real thing without the preservatives. That's not even considering organic or higher quality foods. Actually I linked a video that talked about it here.

    Some of the stuff you'd get at the organic cafes are expensive and so small that it wouldn't constitute a meal by itself (hence the other courses a la carte). Four combos at McDonalds runs you a little more than $20. For a family of four on the run McDonalds becomes the more economical choice. Supersize for $0.59? Sure thing! I see it with a few of my friends - they are real quick to get take out for the family. One 16" pie? $10 - feeds at least 4 people depending on how hungry they are. You'd be hard pressed to duplicate that with healthier options for the same price. And so it starts - and the more people are used to eating large sizes and are fat the more they need to eat which translates into more business in the long run.
    OK, so it turns out that even if you don't want to go the organic route it's still getting more expensive to be thin than fat:

    Quote Originally Posted by article
    Price of lower-calorie foods rising drastically, UW researchers find

    As food prices rise, the costs of lower-calorie foods are rising the fastest, according to a University of Washington study appearing in the December issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. As the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables and other low-calorie foods have jumped nearly 20 percent in the past two years, the UW researchers say, a nutritious diet may be moving out of the reach of some American consumers.

    UW researchers Dr. Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition, and Dr. Pablo Monsivais, a research fellow in the center, studied food prices at grocery stores around the Seattle area in 2004. They found that the foods which are less energy-dense -- generally fresh fruits and vegetables -- are much more expensive per calorie than energy-dense foods -- such as those high in refined grains, added sugars, and added fats.

    When the researchers surveyed prices again in 2006, the found that the disparity in food prices only worsened with time. Lower-calorie foods jumped in price by about 19.5 percent in that two-year period, while the prices of very calorie-rich foods stayed stable or even dropped slightly, the researchers found. The general rate of food price inflation in the United States was about 5 percent during that period, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

    "That the cost of healthful foods is outpacing inflation is a major problem," said Drewnowski. "The gap between what we say people should eat and what they can afford is becoming unacceptably wide. If grains, sugars and fats are the only affordable foods left, how are we to handle the obesity epidemic?"

    Research conducted by Drewnowski and others at the UW Center for Obesity Research had previously shown that per calorie food costs were much higher for fresh produce and other recommended foods than for fats and sweets. Those studies were based on prevailing food prices in the United States and in Europe.

    This project was the first of its kind to track the change in prices over time not by food group, but by food quality. The Labor Department monitors food prices by tracking the cost of an average "food basket," which is calculated based on what American consumers purchase at the grocery store. However, the researchers argue, the inflation rate of the overall basket may drastically underestimate the rising cost of the healthiest foods.

    The UW study looked at price inflation in foods grouped by energy density, or calories per gram of food. Energy density is one measure of food quality, since many energy-dense foods also tend to be low in nutrients. People who eat energy-dense foods may consume more calories than they need.

    "We are an overfed but undernourished nation," said Drewnowski.

    Drewnowski and Monsivais argue that the study provides yet another piece of evidence that obesity isn't just a personal problem -- it's an economic one.

    "We need to focus on bigger-scale changes, like the farm bill or other policy measures that can address the disparity in food costs," Monsivais said.

    The project was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in the National Institutes of Health.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    My grocery bill definitely went up when I started eating healthier a couple of years ago. I manage it simply by purchasing the fruits and vegetables that are on sale rather than planning meals.

    It's a good thing the gov't is still sponsoring corn so High Fructose Corn Syrup can be kept affordable
    just being

  3. #3
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    What I buy may be more expensive, but I eat much less. My grocery bill has actually stayed the same or even went down in some cases.
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  4. #4
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Our grocery bill has dropped, as we are all eating healthier, and less. We have a lot less junk food around, and we have a lot of left overs that are a second or third meal, that we didn't have before.
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  5. #5
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    There's a reason people in poor communities are generally fatter and less healthy overall: economics. It's true of most industrialized nations these days.
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    It looks silly when you have quotes from other forum members in your signature. Nobody on this forum is that funny.
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    Why am I in your signature.

  6. #6
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    Not only is it an issue of economics, but it's also an issue of laziness. It really is harder to eat better. It takes more thought and planning, and obviously takes more discipline.

    I don't think that most people get everything they can out of the money they make though, so I don't buy the fact that poorer people can't eat better. With some financial planning, I think we could all have a lot more extra money than we have now (or a lot less debt). But, if you're not going to change any other habits, or cut back anywhere else, then maybe it can be just too expensive to eat right.

    At any rate, it's a really interesting article/thread. Thanks for the post, Air (and congrats again on your award).

  7. #7
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    I think it's more about effort and being particular than it is an issue of money.
    It's mostly BS that healthy food is more expensive; depends if you're buying a 5kg sack of rice and lentils vs. organic fiddleheads and asparagus.

    Boutique-type health food is expensive, but basic vegetables (esp. on sale), rice, pasta, canned veggies, and beans and legumes?? Not pricey at all...

  8. #8
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    I definitely agree. My grocery bill is now 4 times that which made me over 300 lbs.

    Sure, I could easily reduce my current grocery bill, but you'd be hard pressed to come up with a healthy meal plan that costs $35/week or less that would have enticed me away from my college diet of mac n' cheese, hamburger helper, and $0.99 whoppers from burger king.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    I think everyones idea of "good" tasting healthy foods are different. I'm happy as heck eating fresh fruit and fresh or cooked veggies. I would say that 3/4 of my diet is whole fresh vegtables and fruit. You really can't get any easier to prepare then washing an apple and eating it. I don't buy the notion that healthier food has to be more expensive. The only way I can see that is in the processed and pre made foods. I'd rather have fresh food and I think that the people don't realize how easy and price comparable it is to eat. I know I didn't realize it untill I started doing it.
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  10. #10
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Are we arguing fresh fruits and vegetables vs organic fresh fruits and vegetables, or just overall eating healthy? Don't forget that the price as fruits and veggies depend on whats in season and geographic location. For instance I can get strawberries, eggplants, and broccoli pretty cheap in central PA but wont find an avocado under 5 bucks a pop. You know, if you want good cheap and mostly organic veggies, don't overlook your local farmers market or roadside stands. I'm sure this isn't a possibility everywhere but you might be surprised. Also, it only takes a five gallon bucket on a patio to grow a summers worth of fresh delicious tomatoes for a whopping 35 cent packet of seeds. Hot as well as sweet peppers do great in buckets too. All it takes is time, patients, a bit of water and possibly a cage for the plants to lean on.

  11. #11
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    Are we arguing fresh fruits and vegetables vs organic fresh fruits and vegetables, or just overall eating healthy?
    The second one. I think organic stuff was brought up because it's even more expensive, but the thread is just about eating healthy vs. eating junk.

  12. #12
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    14oz of tofu at my COOP is $1.50. Cheap healthy and is a good food towards getting thin. How about rice, beans, legumes and other grains?

    I agree with caincando, healthy convenience food may be more expensive but fresh unprocessed food can still be cheap and extremely healthy.

  13. #13
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChunkyB View Post
    The second one. I think organic stuff was brought up because it's even more expensive, but the thread is just about eating healthy vs. eating junk.
    It's as expensive as you want it to be. My morning breakfast of oatmeal is a lot less expensive than picking up breakfast sandwiches at the local market. Conversely, eating 'real food' for dinner is more expensive than the turkey hot dogs I used to 'dine' on in my 385 pound days.

  14. #14
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    It's as expensive as you want it to be. My morning breakfast of oatmeal is a lot less expensive than picking up breakfast sandwiches at the local market. Conversely, eating 'real food' for dinner is more expensive than the turkey hot dogs I used to 'dine' on in my 385 pound days.
    That could be a life motto. I think people waste so much money, and then complain that they don't get paid enough. If you want to take the time to do things right, I'm convinced that anyone on any budget could eat right. But it does take time and planning.

    I think we would all agree that it's easier to eat junk than it is to eat healthy. But I don't buy it if someone says they absolutely can't eat healthy because of money.

  15. #15
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChunkyB View Post
    That could be a life motto. I think people waste so much money, and then complain that they don't get paid enough. If you want to take the time to do things right, I'm convinced that anyone on any budget could eat right. But it does take time and planning.

    I think we would all agree that it's easier to eat junk than it is to eat healthy. But I don't buy it if someone says they absolutely can't eat healthy because of money.
    It's about making choices. Just like weight loss itself.

  16. #16
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    no

    it is not more expensive to be thin than fat.

    a thin person can survive on eating bearclaws from the vending machine
    the same as a fat person. just eat less of them.


    it is more expensive to be stupid.

    and stupid is what to call it if you think it
    costs more to eat less calories. duh. it's less.

    just pack less calories down your cake chute. plain and simple it is individual responsibility,
    no one else's fault. not ever.

  17. #17
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    It's about making choices. Just like weight loss itself.
    Exactly. Isn't that what life's about? Make good choices, and you'll like the outcome.

    I think a growing trend in the world is to not take responsibility for one's choices. Either we blame someone else, or we blame other things. I think, for the most part, we choose to be thin or fat.

    Anyways, I think the moral of the story is that nothing's stopping anyone from getting thin or fat. It's up to them.

  18. #18
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChunkyB View Post
    Exactly. Isn't that what life's about? Make good choices, and you'll like the outcome.

    I think a growing trend in the world is to not take responsibility for one's choices. Either we blame someone else, or we blame other things. I think, for the most part, we choose to be thin or fat.

    Anyways, I think the moral of the story is that nothing's stopping anyone from getting thin or fat. It's up to them.
    YES! YES! YES!

  19. #19
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    Of course, that's easier typed than done. I need to try to put my money where my mouth is (honestly, no pun intended, although it's pretty funny given the subject of the thread) this year to reach my weight loss goals. Wish me luck.

  20. #20
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Pardon the multiple negative:

    I can't "NOT" afford to have a healthy diet. The associated medical expenses involved with poor diet and obesity are overwhelming eventually, if you don't (Ask me how I know this )
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  21. #21
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChunkyB View Post
    Of course, that's easier typed than done. I need to try to put my money where my mouth is (honestly, no pun intended, although it's pretty funny given the subject of the thread) this year to reach my weight loss goals. Wish me luck.
    Luck has nothing to do with it. That's the point. :-)

  22. #22
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Luck has nothing to do with it. That's the point. :-)
    Touche. HAHA. I still do have a lot to change in my mindset, as I have just proven.

  23. #23
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Pardon the multiple negative:

    I can't "NOT" afford to have a healthy diet. The associated medical expenses involved with poor diet and obesity are overwhelming eventually, if you don't (Ask me how I know this )
    Can I go first, Tom? My hospitalization back in 2005, just for testing, cost over 10 thousand dollars. All that because I had heartburn. :-)

  24. #24
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Can I go first, Tom? My hospitalization back in 2005, just for testing, cost over 10 thousand dollars. All that because I had heartburn. :-)
    My return to health has topped $500,000.00, and I'm NOT kidding at all! Add up the costs of treatment for endocrine disease, cardiac issues, several years of O2 therapy, my surgery and cost of addressing the side effects....all I can say is WOW! (I'm looking at another $30,000 or so for excess skin removal and aftercare eventually as well)
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  25. #25
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    My return to health has topped $500,000.00, and I'm NOT kidding at all! Add up the costs of treatment for endocrine disease, cardiac issues, several years of O2 therapy, my surgery and cost of addressing the side effects....all I can say is WOW! (I'm looking at another $30,000 or so for excess skin removal and aftercare eventually as well)
    I don't doubt it, Tom. Incidentally, I wasn't kidding about my hospitalization. I was as serious as a heart attack, which is what the doctors and I thought my problem might have been. Changes in diet and lifestyle have considerably reduced the chance I'll be back to that cardiac ward.

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