It’s a question asked by anyone who’s shopped at Whole Foods: Is it really worth it to spend half your paycheck on a single trip to the grocery store?
While you may not have to spend an arm and a leg, one study indicates spending more may be beneficial to your health.
According to researchers at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) in Barcelona, Spain, a study indicates that participants who spent more on food ate more fruits and vegetables, and had a decreased risk for obesity and diabetes.
The study followed more than 2,000 Spanish men and women aged 25 to 74 for a period of 10 years and found that those who spent an extra 1.4€ (about an extra $1.50) ate 74 more grams of vegetables and 52 more grams of fruit than the average participant. In the same vein, those who spent just 0.06€ ate 121 fewer grams of vegetables and 94 fewer grams of fruit.
According to researcher Helmut Schröder, those who spent less also consumed more baked goods and fast food.
It’s no secret that healthy food often comes at a price. The IMIM study indicated that the price of healthy foods, like fruit, increased by 50 percent during the 10 year study. During the same period, processed foods only increased in price by 10 percent. The trends in Spain mirror the trends in the United States, where one study indicates that it costs nearly $500 a year to eat healthy.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.