Reasons why unhealthy diets contribute to unnecessary medical expenses

Healthy food saves money on several costs associated with bad eating. There are numerous reasons for this that are supported by medical research, statistical evidence and industry professionals. Moreover, after evaluating the hazards of bad eating, it becomes apparent that in the long run, healthy eating is quite possibly more affordable than the purchase of food products that contribute to a wide range of extra health-related costs.

Diet, health and longevity

According to the book “Primal Body, Primal Mind” by Nora T. Gedgaudas, “What we eat ultimately accounts for easily 70 percent of health and longevity”; moreover, diet is said to also control and modify genetic expression.” Since diet and budget are not typically mutually exclusive, purchase decisions affect health related costs. Although it is true living longer costs more, living a short life with persistent health complications quite possibly costs more in both tangible medical expenses and the intangible cost of a low quality of life.

Food and biological manipulation

Some low-quality foods have the convenient effect of increasing impulse purchases, physiological cravings and psychological desire. Whether or not such results are intended by commercial food distributors is somewhat beside the point, but the notion that specific ingredients trigger potentially costly individual responses is not.

To illustrate the above consider the example of chocolate. Chocolate that is low in chocolate liquor, which is linked to the production of serotonin in the brain, is more likely to stimulate craving for additional chocolate than its higher quality dark-chocolate counterparts. Therefore, individual’s may end up spending more on less healthy, low-quality chocolate than they would on healthier chocolate with more chocolate liquor. Furthermore, according to the University of Michigan, there are several health benefits of dark chocolate that don’t require prescription drugs to remedy.

Another way food influences behavior is via its effect on blood-sugar levels. Moreover, not all low-cost food is necessarily going to end up costing less if one buys more of it in addition to the health problems that sometimes arise from eating such food. To illustrate, according to Nicholas Jackson of The Atlantic, some wheat derivative products increase blood-sugar more efficiently. Subsequent drops in blood-sugar levels are therefore more volatile and contribute to physical discomfort and craving. What’s more, specific wheat products are not the only commercial food that rapidly increase blood-sugar levels.

Nutritional deficiencies and doctor visits

Eating foods that are not nutritious is financially risky in some circumstances. Moreover, nutritional deficiencies contribute to health problems such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and obesity according to the Government of Western Australia. When the symptoms of these health complications manifest themselves, prescription expenses, doctor visits and corresponding co-pay costs are more likely. Since even insured trips to in-network doctors can cost approximately $10-$30, thinking about eating healthy food is not necessarily a waste of time or money.

Health benefits of avoiding additives

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves food for public consumption if it does not cause immediate health damage. However, a wide range of health complications and physiological responses associated with bad eating are possible via a “chemical cuisine” described by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The FDA does not necessarily take the adverse effects  into account. Thus, eating food with less additives is worth it if there is a reasonable certainty of costly health problems later on. In addition, some in-season natural fruits and vegetables without additives are actually less expensive than processed alternatives.

A healthy diet is not only good for the body and brain, it is also often beneficial to individuals’ personal finances. Good food does not always cost more and potential food related health problems often end up costing money to deal with. Since medicine is not an absolute science, controversy often exists about the actual pros and cons of dietary costs in terms of healthcare. However, if consumers are willing to educate themselves about the possible risks of unhealthy eating, then at least they can make more informed decisions about their dietary choices and potentially save money while they are it.