A research published in the American Journal of Public Health reveals a shocking link between food prices and Type 2 Diabetes.
It shows that food prices do more harm than just burning your pockets. In fact, these results may lay the groundwork for claims that lowering food prices may be the #1 health benefit for the nation.
The researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture merged information from two different sources. From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) they collected blood sugar measures of about 2400 adults who showed signs of having Type 2 Diabetes. Then they used data on average grocery prices over three months in 35 markets in United States. The data was available in Quarterly Food-At-Home Price database.
When they compared these data, they found that with the increase in prices of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, the blood sugar levels also rose. Similarly, fall in prices of sugar, saturated fats and unhealthy food items high in calories caused an increase in the average levels of blood sugar.
On an average, it was identified that with an increase in 10 cents per pound in the cost of food produce, the blood sugar level hiked by 20 milligrams per deciliter!
This is roughly 13 percent of the average fasting glucose level recorded in the study.
Similarly, for every 14 cent hike in price per pound of low-fat dairy products, 9 milligrams per deciliter of blood sugar rise was observed.
The researchers conclude that the link is associated with typical consumer behavior. People switch from healthy foods to unhealthy junk food owing to the price differences.
Another study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health shows that a healthy eating lifestyle that includes fruits and other nutritious food costs a person, on an average, $1.50 per day more than unhealthy eating.
This might seem like a small difference, and for the middle class population it is not statistically significant. But in average to poor income groups, the difference in price might be the deciding factor for choosing unhealthy junk food high in added sugar, saturated fat and calories over healthy food options.
The study points out to one important issue – it is not just enough to advise people to consume more healthy food. Attention should also be focused on the prices of the food items.
But there is another even more important proof this study delivers: What You Eat Makes All The Difference To Your Blood Sugar Level and Type 2 Diabetes!