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Costs of healthy diets can be trimmed down

July 15, 2009
by By Lauran Neergaard
The Associated Press

Two-thirds of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese, and childhood obesity is so epidemic that some doctors predict we soon will see a generation with lower life expectancy than their parents. The recession won't help.

"Higher food prices are straining household budgets, especially for low-income families," says Dr. James Marks of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who fears rising grocery bills will outstrip what little progress is being made in encouraging better eating and more exercise.

It's a hard fact: Eating healthier can cost more. When you're hungry, you go for what's most filling, meaning calorie-dense foods with lots of added fat and sugar.

"You tend to go for the value meal at a fast-food restaurant," says Jeff Levi of Trust for America's Health, a health advocacy group.

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