unhealthy diet cost

An Unhealthy Diet Cost

The Hidden Unhealthy Diet Cost

Everyone knows that a poor diet can make you fat. Obesity is a leading contributor to heart disease and other chronic illnesses. So the unhealthy diet cost increases when we add in medical care. But how much more does the unhealthy diet cost?

A research article titled Cardiometabolic disease costs associated with suboptimal diet in the United States: A cost analysis based on a microsimulation model puts the annual cost at $301 per person to care for Cardiometabolic disease that results from a poor diet. The overall impact on the sick care system? $50.4 billion per year. This, of course, does not include other economic costs like lost productivity. More importantly, the research does not address the pain, suffer, and loss experienced that Cardiometabolic disease inflicts on patients and loved ones.

Unhealthy Diet Cost and Your Wellbeing 

A core principle for health and wellbeing at HealthCare Too is that everything is integrated. Our diet impacts not just certain parts of the Body (like the heart) but the whole Body as well as Mind and Spirit. The $301 cost is just the beginning.

Still it is good information that we can use to correct the unhealthy diet cost. Just like the costs go beyond the $301 Cardiometabolic disease so too do the benefits of good nutrition. The researchers highlighted several areas for diet improvement:

  1. Low consumption of nuts/seeds.
  2. Low consumption of seafood omega-3 fats.
  3. High consumption of red meat.
  4. High consumption of polyunsaturated fats.

Addressing these areas will have the greatest impact / cost reduction for Cardiometabolic disease. These can also all promote Sustainability (e.g., beef production), more exercise (e.g., less “run down” from poor diet), and greater social / spiritual interactions as we feel better.

The unfortunate side that everything is integrated makes this more complex than telling people to eat well.

The Unhealthy Diet Cost & Social Determinants Of Health

It is interesting to know the unhealthy diet cost. It is far more enlightening to see that cost when measured against different social considerations. The impact of these Social Determinants of Health has been gaining attention and this research helps highlight the need for whole person approaches. We can no longer afford a “sick care” system that forces providers to treat only symptoms and puts consumer back into the same lifestyles that spawned the diseases.

Individual costs are highest for men ($380), those aged ≥65 years ($408), blacks ($320), the less educated ($392), and those with Medicare ($481) or dual-eligible ($536) insurance coverage.

Sick care is broken. It will be a long and difficult journey to transform our sick care system into a real healthcare system as well as address the Social Determinants of Health. But you do not have to wait. Your health and wellbeing belong to you. No one else can or will fix that. Do not wait until the unhealthy diet cost catches you. Avoid the avoidable illnesses and bask in your own wellbeing!


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