Proper nutrition, as it is known, is an integral component of good health. Due to a large assortment today, it is not difficult to choose the products that are most useful for the human body and to follow a correct diet. Nevertheless, the cost of healthy food, as many have noted, is sometimes too big, and ordinary consumers cannot always afford to buy these or other products. At the same time, unhealthy food, which the body does not need at all, has, as a rule, quite an affordable price, which encourages people to buy it.
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It is possible that the cost of healthy food is one of the central problems because of which the demand for products, for example, with a high content of vitamins or useful elements falls. Therefore, the high price of goods that many nutritionists call healthy is more a market than a state decision, which allows trade representatives to earn substantially at the expense of residents who are worried about their health.
High Cost of Healthy Food: Reasons and Outcomes
Modern market laws provide for constant monitoring of the needs and requests of consumers, and manufacturers and distributors react instantly to any changes in the interests of buyers. A rather logical and well-known economic scheme is also presented in the sphere of food: the higher the demand, the greater the cost of goods. Widespread enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle and the desire to eat properly inevitably affects the pricing policy for food products. Typically, marketers are aware that many people will buy useful products no matter how much they cost. The desire to have a beautiful body has its consequences: the cost of goods with a high content of vitamins and beneficial minerals inevitably grows in contrast to those products that are classified as affordable.
It is quite easy to trace this assumption on the example of children’s goods. As Daniel (2016) notes, in families with low incomes, parents tend to buy their children those products that they like. Adults do it usually so that the child does not feel deprived. At the same time, the products themselves are often unhelpful and quite when it comes to their cost. In families where the income level is above the average, parents have the opportunity to buy more expensive and healthy food for the child, and many manufacturers rely on this target group (Daniel, 2016). A high cost of useful food products is explained by the fact that the demand for these goods is unstable; therefore, marketers set an appropriate price minimum, thereby emphasizing the quality and benefits of some specific products.
The reasons for this policy are quite ambiguous. If people buy exclusively affordable and cheap food, which, as a rule, are of little use to the body, they will not get proper vitamins and other vital elements. It is possible that the purchase of expensive goods will improve health, which will also have a positive impact on the country’s budget. However, such a price policy, in its turn, automatically excludes citizens with low income from the ranks of consumers of quality products since the cost of such food sometimes is too expensive for many. Therefore, a peculiar conclusion that can be drawn is that a healthy nation is more likely wealthy than the poor.
Today’s Relevance of the Issue
The modern craze for a healthy lifestyle is the reason that many people spend quite a lot of money every month on expensive food. At the same time, the cost of these goods usually does not become lower, which is quite understandable and logical from the marketing point of view. According to Rao, Afshin, Singh, and Mozaffarian (2013), even a minimal reduction in the cost of those goods that are in demand among supporters of healthy food will save a significant part of their financial resources.
The authors also note that this issue must necessarily be considered at the state level since the health of the nation is the immediate task of the government (Rao, Afshin, Singh, & Mozaffarian, 2013). Appropriate measures can make a significant contribution to the healthcare system of any country and give all citizens, without exception, the opportunity to eat correctly and not too expensively.
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The enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle is actively promoted almost everywhere: in the media, in advertising campaigns of trade producers, in cinemas, etc. The desire to look beautiful and feel good is a natural person’s desire, but such an opportunity is available to everyone.
According to Jones, Conklin, Suhrcke, and Monsivais (2014), the government should pay attention to this issue because a rapidly growing price gap between various categories of food products does not allow many low-income population strata to buy some goods of appropriate quality. Moreover, companies that produce cheap and affordable products with low levels of nutrients also systematically promote their goods among consumers, forcing them to pay attention to their production. The enthusiasm for high-calorie food inevitably leads to various health problems, and today, more and more people are aware of the need to eat correctly and to comply with appropriate diets and regimes.
Correlation between High Food Cost and Health Promotion
As many doctors note, proper nutrition is often the guarantee of good health and well-being. When buying useful products, people thereby receive many valuable vitamins and microelements that necessary for the normal functioning of the body. However, because of the high cost of many such products, it becomes quite problematic to maintain an appropriate physical form. According to Talukdar and Lindsey (2013), a substantial percentage of modern Americans suffer from obesity.
Most nutritionists usually advise to reduce the intake of high-calorie foods and pay more attention to useful products. Nevertheless, because of the high cost, it is quite hard for many people to buy such food. Moreover, the same authors note that a large number of products in grocery stores are not useful (Talukdar & Lindsey, 2013). It means that the choice of suitable products is also of great importance.
The relationship between the high cost of healthy food and state policy is that, as a rule, those products that have the highest price are the most useful and nutritious. It is unlikely that the government deliberately regulates the cost increase for such goods. However, no one can prohibit marketers from setting certain price limits, which leads to the fact that expensive products are the most useful and recommended by dieticians and doctors.
Possible Ways to Solve the Problem
The choice of the right products can help maintain a healthy lifestyle without spending too much money. Consultations with experienced physicians will be useful since experts can choose a proper diet and calculate the necessary amount of food that is required in a particular case. According to Carlson and Frazão (2014), healthy diets are quite affordable, but people should be aware of what products they need, and without which it is entirely possible to live. It will help to save money and not spend it on expensive but not very necessary products.
Also, it is essential to look for opportunities to purchase products at affordable prices, for example, in markets or from farmers. Large trading networks usually put a high cost, which is due to the need for profit. If the buyer chooses not an expensive store, the price of useful products will undoubtedly be quite affordable. Moreover, farms usually offer environmentally friendly goods, which is an additional incentive to buy quality food. It is not so important where the products are purchased, and it is significant that they are healthy and not harmful.
Thus, the high price of products is likely to be more marketing than a state decision, and one of the fundamental reasons for it is the willingness of sellers to get as much profit as possible. The urgency of healthy nutrition issue is confirmed today by the attempts of many people to improve their way of life. Numerous advertising campaigns that promote healthy eating force consumers to pay attention to useful products, which, as a rule, cost a lot. Experienced nutritionists can help to make the list of the most suitable and at the same time affordable food products. Buying goods from trusted sellers will help avoid the risk of overpayment and the purchase of substandard food.
Carlson, A., & Frazão, E. (2014). Food costs, diet quality and energy balance in the United States. Physiology & Behavior, 134, 20-31.
Daniel, C. (2016). Economic constraints on taste formation and the true cost of healthy eating. Social Science & Medicine, 148, 34-41.
Jones, N. R., Conklin, A. I., Suhrcke, M., & Monsivais, P. (2014). The growing price gap between more and less healthy foods: Analysis of a novel longitudinal UK dataset. PLOS One, 9(10), 32-38.
Rao, M., Afshin, A., Singh, G., & Mozaffarian, D. (2013). Do healthier foods and diet patterns cost more than less healthy options? A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ open, 3(12), 43-51.
Talukdar, D., & Lindsey, C. (2013). To buy or not to buy: Consumers’ demand response patterns for healthy versus unhealthy food. Journal of Marketing, 77(2), 124-138.