The relationship between nutrition and income
Lower-income households buy more foods that are sugary and less that are notably healthy, such as whole-grain breads, compared to households with higher incomes. The researchers’ health index, an overall measure of household groceries’ nutrition content, shows that not only did higher-income groups make healthier purchases, but they also improved their health scores at a greater rate in recent years.
People in food deserts still go to supermarkets
Households in US zip codes without supermarkets travel farther to do their grocery shopping, despite arguments by some policy makers and advocates that people in these areas rely on less-ideal options such as convenience stores.
Why lower-income households buy less-healthy groceries
Demand-side factors rather than supply-side factors explain most of the nutrition gap between lower- and higher-income households. A counterfactual analysis finds that if everyone had the same access to healthy food, with the same prices, the nutrition gap would narrow by 9 percent. But if everyone shared the same food and nutrient preferences, the gap would shrink by 91 percent.
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