There’s a reason they call it a healthy ‘lifestyle’

I think this study, as reported by NPR, really shows why people are full of it when they say, “Oh, I’d eat better if the healthy food were cheaper.” In the study, they lowered the price of healthy foods and found that moms did buy more healthy foods when they were cheaper — but they used their savings to buy junk food.

Healthy food doesn’t cancel out junk food — I always reference the Mitch Hedberg joke (R.I.P.) about an onion ring and a carrot going to the stomach, where the carrot covers for the onion ring and therefore makes the onion ring healthy, too. In order to really eat in a healthy way, the healthy food needs to replace the junk food — which according to the study is fatty and carbohydrate-y foods.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle means just that — making a lifestyle change. Eating McDonalds every day is still eating McDonalds every day, even if you have salads and fruit and whole grains every day, too. This goes with lots of things in life — exercising, going green, quitting smoking, etc. People rely on the market (or tell themselves they do) and accordingly make choices based on price, but there is some personal responsibility in those decisions, too.


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4 Responses to “There’s a reason they call it a healthy ‘lifestyle’”

  1. moonblade2005 Says:


    I think it is funny when people think that they can eat as much junk as they like and consider themselves eating more healthy by simply throwing in a few carrot sticks. Or think they can suck down a two liter of soda a day as long as they take a thirty minute half-assed walk.

  2. dabbed Says:

    I feel like you should almost bold this sentence “Healthy food doesn’t cancel out junk food”. People often have a misguided perception of how nutrition and calories work. Now that the food pyramid has been switched to a vertical format it will help. I think old horizontal format caused people to see that they need 2-4 servings of fruit (so they eat their ice cream sundae, fruit-bar etc.) and feel like they have completed their “task” after eating all that fruit and that they are free to eat their snickers bar.

    I must say it really is hard not to crave junk food. There’s something about the combination of fat + sugar that food manufacturers put in processed food that just makes the reward center of your brain go crazy. One you have a bite, it’s hard not take another bite, and then another one.

  3. Do you cap and trade your good and bad deeds? « i, sandwich Says:

    […] and use it as an excuse to do bad. I think it also is like what I said earlier this week about health food – people assume that they can eat more junk food if they eat more healthy food, as if the two […]

  4. le Says:

    bad foods outweight the benefits of eating good foods.

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