A healthy diet is expensive and could make it difficult for Americans to meet new US nutritional guidelines, according to a study published today. A 2010 food pyramid update told Americans to eat more foods containing potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, and calcium, but if they did that, they would add hundreds more dollars to their annual grocery bill, the Health Affairs journal said. Merely introducing more potassium in a diet is likely to add $380 per year to the average consumer's food costs.
The study's author criticized some of the marketing for a healthy diet—for example, the image of a plate of salmon, leafy greens, and maybe some rice pilaf—and said a meal like that is not affordable for many Americans. "We know more than ever about the science of nutrition, and yet we have not yet been able to move the needle on healthful eating," the researcher said. (Click to read about the makeover of the food pyramid.)