2022, a year where the cost of living has skyrocketed. For the last few years there’s also been an effort to combat obesity, especially in children. The logic of the two things make sense but are up against one another.
I do my best to eat cheaply, but I also try to be relatively healthy. My daily routine involves two chocolate biscuits guaranteed every day which probably isn’t the best choice health wise, however depending on the brand I can get from six to twelve bars in a multipack for roughly £1. sometimes the price is offer dependent. These biscuits are individually wrapped and can last a while.
Fruit comes in many varieties and different types are good for different things. I often shop at Morrison’s Supermarket because their gimmick is based on freshness, everything made new. The price of apples is about £1.35 for eight in a cheap pack or the “Wonky” (misshapen) ones are 69p for five. There are also often deals on fruit where two packets can be bought for £3. However fresh food is reduced when going off which excludes it from any other offers. Fruit doesn’t last long before rotting.
Compare the last two paragraphs. In order to have more available to consume – remembering that fruit goes off fairly quickly – It would cost me more to replace my chocolate biscuits with fruit which wouldn’t last as long in the cupboard. With money saving in mind chocolate beats the healthy stuff.
This idea doesn’t just compare apples to chocolate bars, it’s true of a lot of things. I recently made a fresh macaroni cheese with some ingredients already in and spent over £10, I could have bought a processed/frozen one for around £3. I had a lot more food so maybe cheaper for a group but on my own the worse option was still better for my bank account. I’m sure there are other examples.
Sadly, avoiding obesity or eating healthier requires a relatively strong financial position and the time along with mindset to prepare meals. Starting poor in money eventually leads to a vicious cycle of poor quality or unhealthy food leading to less motivation to do better. In an ideal world the sugary stuff would cost more than the healthy meaning everyone could eat well, it’s just more affordable for individuals or small groups to buy the more unhealthy food, the unhealthy food will then taste better because we get used to certain sugar and fat levels.
I’ve also seen things in the news about stopping deals on sugary things which will add to the sugar tax in bashing the poor. Instead of making bad food harder to access the government need to make healthy food cheaper and promote adequate exercise.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away but a chocolate bar a day keeps the pennies safe.