Fast food and junk food companies spend billions of dollars each year to convince us to eat their products. Just think of Super Bowl ads that costs 5 million dollars for a 30 second ad. When is the last time that you’ve seen an ad for vegetables and fruit on mainstream TV or other media?
The really sad news is that when it comes to fruits and veggies, we’re wasting billions of dollars by not eating them. Many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer are attributable, at least in part, to diet and lifestyle. While the economic burden of lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking have often been calculated; the costs of not eating fruits and vegetables are less readily known.
Two Canadian researchers in Public Health Nutrition recently looked into the question of the costs of not eating fruits and vegetables. They examined many studies that looked at chronic diseases in which fruits and veggie intake significantly reduced diseases.
They found that the 80 percent of women and 89 percent of men in Canada eat inadequate amounts of vegetables and fruit. Their most conservative estimate of the cost of not eating your fruits and veggies in Canada is 3.3 billion dollars annually; a third of which is in direct health-care costs and two-thirds is indirect costs due to people being too sick to go to work.
The bottom line? Healthy food is a good investment in our health! Fill those baskets and buggies with fruit and vegetables!