Reducing Cost of Vegetables Saves 150,500 Human Lives

New study says that a subsidy on fruit and vegetables is five times more effective at staving off cardiovascular disease than imposing a soda tax.


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A new study published in medical journal PLOS Medicine found that making fruit and vegetables cheaper would save 150,500 American lives by 2030. Researchers used the US IMPACT Food Policy Model to calculate the impact of subsidizing fruit and vegetables compared to implementing a soda tax, and found that a 10 percent produce subsidy was five times more effective at preventing or postponing death by 2030 than a soda tax. The findings also suggest that a subsidy on produce could increase fruit and vegetable consumption by 14 percent, while a 10 percent price increase on soda would only reduce consumption by seven percent. Researchers concluded that the best approach to improving the dietary habits of Americans and reducing the mortality rate from heart disease—the nation’s largest killer—is a combination of the two fiscal strategies. Recent research has further proven that a well-planned, plant-based diet is optimal for health. A 32-year longitudinal study published last year found that replacing meat with fruit and vegetables reduced the risk of contracting heart disease, as well as decreased mortality rates by 10 percent.