As inflation rages, Americans say cost is preventing healthy eating

Posted at 10:07 AM, Feb 01, 2023

As food costs grew by over 10 percent in 2022, many Americans are saying prices are a big reason they’re unable to eat healthily.

According to a survey released Wednesday by the Cleveland Clinic, 46% of those asked say food prices are the biggest barrier to healthy eating. Ranking as the No. 2 reason, 23% said they don’t have the time to cook healthy meals. One in five respondents say they don’t know how to cook healthy meals.

“A heart-healthy diet is the cornerstone of how we lower the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Leslie Cho, a cardiologist for Cleveland Clinic. “It’s really sad that in our economic times people feel that eating heart healthy is more expensive.”

Although the cost of fruits and vegetables jumped in 2022, so did pretty much all other types of food. Cakes and cookies increased 17.1% in 2022, while sweets rose about 12 percent. Fresh fruits and vegetables went up 6.4%, according to the government's consumer price index.

Experts say including fresh fruits and vegetables in a diet does not have to be expensive.

“As long as we eat the rainbow of colors in your fruits and vegetables, that’s good for you and your cardiovascular health,” Cho said.

The survey also found that 71% of those polled believe moderate exercise has a great impact on weight than diet. Research shows that exercise and eating a healthy diet are both important factors in health.

“The best exercise that’s been proven over and over again to make people live longer is walking. Walking really is an important part of our health, not just our cardiovascular health but our mental health too,” she said.