Is Being Healthy Too Expensive?

by Elizabeth Mullett

In class we discussed how doing healthy things like eating kale or exercising is becoming normalized in today’s society. You watch celebrities lose an obscene amount of weight seemingly overnight and you read articles in magazines about eating the right proteins and going vegan, but is this really realistic to everyone? And do these new “fads” of health really helping you with your health? Now its obvious the information is out there on what you should do to get healthy but not everyone can afford to do these things to stay healthy. In the United States we have an issue with a large portion of our population being obese. I think this largely has to do with the fact that our food in the United States is much cheaper than anywhere else. We have fast food restaurants where you can get a whole meal for under $10, and for most middle working people that is a good deal. These meals however are very unhealthy. “Researchpublished by the World Health Organization found that a rise in fast food sales correlated to a rise in body mass index, and Americans are notorious for their fast-food consumption ― such food makes up about 11% of the  average American diet,” according to the article “Why are Americans Obese?” Healthy food like vegetables tend to be on the more expensive side of the other junk food like chips, or pop. When you have a limited amount of money to spend and you have to make the food last for up to two weeks, you are less likely to buy expensive produce. Articles in magazines and shows on television tell you to eat more vegetables and to go to the gym everyday but vegetables and gym memberships are more costly than some people would like. I believe most people want to be healthy and want to be able to do healthy things but they are strained due to how expensive these healthy habits tend to be. Sure you could always order a salad instead or try to work out at home, but for most people a salad does not fill you up like a burger would and people find it hard to keep up with working out at home due to many distractions and the lure of just being lazy instead. In the article “Why are Americans Obese?” it is talked about how Americans eat too much meat, confuse Diet with Nutrition, how being lazy is popular and how you can do to become more healthy and get rid of these unhealthy habits. The article also states that “weight gain and loss is primarily a formula of total calories consumed versus total calories used.”




2 thoughts on “Is Being Healthy Too Expensive?

  1. This is a common argument people make as a reason not to lose weight, but the cost of fast food is much higher than people think. $10 for a meal may seem like a good deal, but by shopping at a grocery store one can easily eat an entire days worth of for that same amount. If one doesn’t have time to cook they can meal prep an entire week worth of meals in a Sunday afternoon. And if they really must pick up fast food in a pinch, their choices reflect their weight loss. A grilled chicken sandwich and side salad with lite dressing has half the calories as the burger and fries. Exchanging water or diet soda for regular pop lessens the calories even more.

    Plus, the main way to lose weight is just to eat less. Being mindful of what one eats – and how many calories it contains – is free.


  2. Being healthy is expensive, which is a great argument you brought up. If you notice “healthy items” aren’t really offered in every area sometimes this is due to demographics. For example, the Kroger in Avondale downtown (Primarily African American area) doesn’t have a large variety of healthy vegetables. Now is this a health disparity is another topic, but I believe they make it expensive for a reason. It also happens at fast food restaurants like McDonalds for example. A chicken sandwich that is fried is typically less expensive than a grilled chicken sandwich. Primarily because the fried chicken has antibiotics, where are the grilled chicken is clean meat (However thats not always the case).


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