17 Apr Relatively Small Drop In Price Leads To More Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor Kylie Ball PhD
Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research,
Deakin University, Australia.
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Most Australians (95% of adults) do not eat enough fruits or vegetables for good health. This is concerning as low fruit and vegetable intakes are linked with increased risk for a range of adverse health outcomes, including hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.
One of the commonly cited barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption is the high cost of these foods. At Deakin University’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN), we undertook a randomised controlled trial study in a supermarket setting to test whether addressing this barrier would help people to consume more fruits and vegetables.
We found that a fairly small price reduction (20%) was effective in prompting people to buy more fruits and vegetables – about 2-3 more serves of fruit per week, and about 3 more serves of vegetables per week. These findings are exciting, as even small increases in fruit and vegetable consumption across the population can substantially improve the health of Australians.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: Our study represent the first Australian evidence that price reductions are a promising fiscal approach that might be considered by governments, industry, and sectors of the community interested in improving the diets of Australians. We hope the findings will spark discussion among all sectors of the community, and serve as a reminder about the importance of consuming the recommended 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves vegetables per day, a reminder clinicians could consider providing to their patients.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: These results are important as they identify one fiscal approach that could be effective in promoting increased fruit and vegetable consumption and associated good health across the population. However there are many factors that influence what we eat, so more research into other strategies is needed. Consideration needs to be given to national or state-based nutrition programs targeting high need, low-income families that address economic barriers to healthy eating over the longer-term.
Influence of price discounts and skill-building strategies on purchase and consumption of healthy food and beverages: outcomes of the Supermarket Healthy Eating for Life randomized controlled trial
Kylie Ball, Sarah A McNaughton, Ha ND Le, Lisa Gold, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Gavin Abbott, Christina Pollard, and David Crawford
Am J Clin Nutr ajcn096735; First published online April 15, 2015. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.096735
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Kylie Ball PhD (2015). Relatively Small Drop In Price Leads To More Fruit and Vegetable Consumption