Increasing the money one spends on food is linked to a better quality diet, particularly increased consumption of fruit and vegetables, leading to a healthier weight and decreased risk of cardiometabolic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems,
Spain’s Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (Imim) said last week, citing a study carried out by its researchers.
The researchers monitored a group of 2,181 Spanish men and women aged 25 to 74 for a period of 10 years. They measured their height and weight and recorded dietary data obtained from a scientifically validated food frequency questionnaire. The average food cost was calculated using official government data.
Helmut Schröder, a researcher in the Imim cardiovascular risk and nutrition research group, said: “We have seen that a 1.4 euro (Sh155) increase in average spending on food is associated with the consumption of 74 grams more vegetables and 52 grams more
fruit, per person per day, for a 1,000 kilocalorie diet. Conversely, a reduction of 0.06 euro (Sh6) in average spending is linked to a decrease of 121 grams of vegetables and 94 grams of fruit, as well as increased consumption of foodstuffs like fast food and
“This implies weight gain that could be related to a higher risk of cardiometabolic complications in the future” he stated.
According to Imim, a healthy diet is essential for good physical and mental health and its quality depends on a person’s choice of food, something that is conditioned to a great extent by price, culture, taste and convenience.
The study, “Association of increased monetary cost of dietary intake, diet quality and weight management in Spanish adults”, is in the British Journal of Nutrition.