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Highlights from the December 2007 Journal of the American Dietetic Association

CHICAGO The December 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest. Below is a summary of one of this months articles.

Difficult Choice: Low-Calorie or Low Prices?

High-calorie foods tend to cost less than lower-calorie items and are less likely to increase in price due to inflation a possible explanation for why the highest rates of obesity are seen among people in lower-income groups, according to researchers at the University of Washington.

High-calorie foods provide the most calories at the least cost, the researchers found in a survey of more than 370 food items at three Seattle-area supermarket chains. The lowest calorie-dense foods include fresh fruit and vegetables, while foods highest in calories include candy, pastries and other baked goods and snacks. The survey found low-calorie foods increased in price by 19.5 percent over a two-year period, while high-calorie items dropped in price by 1.8 percent.

The findings that energy-dense foods are not only the least expensive but also most resistant to inflation may help explain why the highest rates of obesity continue to be observed among groups of limited economic means, according to the researchers.

The researchers conclude: The sharp price increase observed for vegetables and fruit relative to fats and sweets suggest that the ability to adopt more-healthful diets may be limited by economic constraints.

Additional research articles in the December Journal of the American Dietetic Association include:

  • Birth Size and Accelerated Growth During Infancy Increase Odds of Childhood Overweight in Mexican Children
  • Breastfeeding and Health Outcomes among Citizen Infants of Immigrant Mothers
  • Poor Nutrient Intakes over a One-Year Follow-Up in Community-Dwelling Older Adults with Early-Stage Alzheimer Dementia Compared to Cognitively Intact Matched Controls
  • About Feeding Children: Mealtimes in Childcare Centers in Four Western States
  • Emergency Preparedness Needs Assessment of Centralized School Foodservice and Warehousing Operations.


Contact: Jennifer Starkey
American Dietetic Association

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