Healthy food isn't necessarily more expensive than junk food, according to a new government report.
The finding contradicts long-held conventional wisdom that it’s cheaper to snack on potato chips than carrots, and bolsters the Obama administration’s fight against rising obesity levels in the U.S.
Food economists traditionally measure the amount of calories you get for your money. By that measure, you still get more when you buy pizza, French fries or other foods high in sodium, salt and saturated fat.
But the USDA study looked at a food’s worth from new perspective and concluded there’s better value in fruits, vegetables, lean meat and low-fat milk. You may get fewer calories per dollar, researchers say, but you get more food when you’re measuring based on price per weight, or price per portion. By the food-portion metric, romaine lettuce is much cheaper than ice cream sandwiches and 1% milk is cheaper than soda.