Cheap vegetables in the fight against obesity
The price of healthy food in supermarkets influences people’s eating habits. The cheaper the fruit and vegetables are compared to fatty foods, the healthier people eat.The difference is “significant” says Wilma Waterlander, a behavioural scientist at the Free University. To fight obesity, she researched whether people would buy healthier food in supermarkets if it were cheaper. At the moment it’s unhealthy products, containing too much fat, sugar and salt, that is usually cheaper than fruit and vegetables.
Ms Waterlander got 600 people to shop in a virtual supermarket from behind their computers. Simply cutting the price of vegetables by 25 percent had a huge effect; on average people bought almost half a kilo more greens per week. The effect is even bigger when lowering the price is accompanied by an advertising campaign and the price of unhealthy products is increased.