Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is known to help prevent numerous chronic diseases, so it’s no surprise that eating healthier can reduce healthcare costs, too. In this study, researchers analyzed U.S. eating habits against dietary recommendations, and then calculated the cardiometabolic disease burden (heart diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes) attributable to not meeting speciﬁc dietary guidelines. From there, they were able to calculate the costs associated with not meeting speciﬁc dietary recommendations. They found that diet-related healthcare costs were $301 per person annually (or $50.4 billion total) for cardiometabolic diseases alone. Speciﬁcally, the per-person annual cardiometabolic cost of not eating enough nuts & seeds was $81, seafood omega-3 fats was $76, vegetables and legumes was $60, fruits was $57, and whole grains was $45.
PLoS Medicine. 2019 Dec 17;16(12):e1002981. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002981. eCollection 2019 Dec. (Jardim TV et al.)