More educated people eat healthier and more expensive food than less educated individuals - regardless of how much money they make, according to new in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
In this study, researchers from the University of Washington looked at energy density and the cost of foods consumed in 103 women and 61 men.
Energy density is the amount of energy contained in a given food by weight, for example the number of calories per gram. For instance, fruits and vegetables are less energy-dense foods and are nutrient-dense than high energy-dense fast food and candy.
Among both men and women, those with the least energy-dense diets consumed more nutrients - and they spent more per calorie, says the study authors.
People with the most energy-dense diets had the lowest intakes of important vitamins and minerals, ate less dietary fibre, and more total fat.
Calorie by calorie, these energy-dense diets were cheaper than the least energy-dense diets.
The amount of money a person spent on food on a daily basis had no association with their income however food cost per calorie increased with income.
Education also had an impact on cost per calorie as the most highly educated adults spending an average of one dollar more for every 2,000 calories they ate.
Though controversial, previous studies have shown that wealthier, more educated people are at lower risk of many nutrition-related health problems like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. This is the first study to provide an explanation on the basis of cost per calorie.
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