High Price of Healthy Food Linked with Malnutrition, Obesity

The International Food Policy Research Institute published a study in The Journal of Nutrition, showing that the affordability of both healthy and unhealthy foods varies around the world, and that these price differences help explain health outcomes ranging from stunting and malnutrition to obesity. The study showed marked variations in the affordability of both healthy and unhealthy foods across different regions of the world, and at differing levels of development. The study found that economic development tends to make healthy foods more affordable, but that process also tends to make unhealthy foods cheaper. The researchers noted that policymakers have several tools available to help make nutrient-rich foods relatively more affordable, including nutrition-sensitive agricultural investments that could make healthy foods cheaper, and taxation and regulation efforts—such as food labelling—to curb consumption of unhealthy foods.