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Healthy diet costs three times that of junk food - eh, really?

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Healthy diet costs three times that of junk food - eh, really?

Ordinarily, when a news piece contained the immortal words "according to a Cambridge University study.." one would think its was a fair, peer reviewed study. However in this case, their study seems damn right ridiculous.

In essence, a list of healthy and unhealthy food from the government is taken (cherry picked) and compared using £ per 1000 calories. Consuming 1000 calories from the products on the healthy list, costs a lot more than getting the same calories from the unhealthy list. Therefore for us to switch from an unhealthy diet to a healthy one, we'll need to fork out three times as much money.

Looking at the items on the list, we can see it's been a pointless study. Basically they've compared a list of healthy items, against a list of items that are incredibly high in sugar, which of course is super calories! Comparing a cauliflower with a sponge cake, or canned soup with fizzy energy drink is just silly. And how did canned soup get on the healthy list when it has a very high salt content?

I suspect we could come up the complete opposite just by selecting the right foods that fits in with the results we wanted to achieve.

Lets try.
Firstly, here's the figures and items from the study. Sure enough, its 3 times more expensive to eat unhealthily.

HEALTHY   UN-HEALTHY  
Tomatoes £13.21 Frozen Pizza £1.58
Vegetable burgers £1.73 Beef burger £2.01
Semi skimmed milk £5.54 Bacon £4.15
Canned tuna £5.54 Cola drink £4.24
Yogurt £17.68 Doughnut £0.98
Salmon £6.87 Ice cream £1.57
Lean mince beef £4.52 Chocolates £4.68
Iceberg lettuce £16.45 Jar of jam £0.99
Cauliflower £9.97 Sponge cake £1.21
Canned soup £3.42 Energy drink £5.55

And here, by cherry picking the food items, we can show that its nearly TWICE more expensive to eat an unhealthy diet!

HEALTHY   UN-HEALTHY  
Fresh orange juice £1.66 High caffeine Sports drink £5.85
Mushroom cous cous £1.06 Tesco ready meal £2.35
Corn on the cob £1.48 Luncheon meat £2.68
Fruit & nut mix £1.44 Dairylee dunkers and sticks £4.89
Lambs liver £1.57 Sticky chicken grills £5.25
Lentils £2.19 Pot noodle £2.39
Beetroot £2.08 Cheese crisps £3.29
Parsnips £1.96 Doritos dip £3.11
Whole wheat pasta £0.53 Bag of Popcorn £4.51
Lean pork mince £5.55 Frozen pizza £1.95
  £19.52   £36.27

Data calculated from product description on tesco.com

So there we go. If you want to get a certain headline grabbing statistic, its easy to pick and choose the data to suit. The best way to test it yourself? Go out and try it yourself!

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