Gabriel Pediatrics Highlights the Dangers of Escalating Healthy Food Prices

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In response to an article published by, Dr. Michael Gabriel of Gabriel Pediatrics, a Brooklyn pediatric care center, says the price differences between healthy and unhealthy products might force people to make unhealthy choices when grocery shopping.

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Dr. Michael Gabriel of Gabriel Pediatrics, a Brooklyn pediatric care center, responds to an article published on February 24 by, which talks about the correlation between increasing prices for healthy food and an increase in childhood obesity.

An article published on February 24th by Medical News Today titled “Association between high cost of fruits, vegetables and higher body fat in young children,” discusses how highly priced fruits, vegetables and other healthy may lead to a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) amongst children in low- and middle-income households.

According to American University researchers, the price for fruits and vegetables and other healthier alternatives have been increasing, forcing some families to seek cheaper options “that may not be as healthy and have more calories.” The percentage of overweight 2- to 5-year-old children nationwide has gone up to 26 percent as of 2010, a gain of 5 percent over the past decade. Results were obtained by linking data from the “Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort,” a nationally representative study of children from infancy to age 5, to a local food price data from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) Cost-of-Living Index.

Households that were 300 percent under the poverty line (E.g. A family of four earning $70,650 in 2013) were an emphasis in the study. The research measured the effects of high priced fresh foods on the families’ grocery shopping habits.

Some important study highlights included:

  •     Snacks and sugar-sweetened beverages have decreased in price while the prices of restaurant meals, and fresh fruits and vegetables have increased.
  •     Children living in areas of high priced fresh foods tend to have higher BMIs.
  •     Shockingly, high prices in fast-food establishments have not decreased the upward trend in obesity. There is a high demand for fast-food.
  •     Highly priced soft-drinks may bolster the growth of obesity amongst children.
  •     Food price fluctuations do not seem to impact food insecurity. People do not forgo meals. Instead, they find ways to bring the most affordable food to the table.

Dr. Michael Gabriel of Gabriel Pediatrics, a Brooklyn pediatric care center, says that the effects of highly priced fresh healthy food are evident by reviewing the obesity trend over the last decade. “Obesity amongst children has gone up, the price of healthy fresh food has increased, and the nutritional value of our diets has shifted,” he explained. “Families might be getting fed but the level of appropriate nutrient density is questionable, especially among low-income families.”

Gabriel Pediatrics provides comprehensive pediatric care to children throughout the New York area with practices both in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Our board certified pediatricians and experienced staff help provide a very warm and nurturing environment for both you and your children. Our approach combines the latest treatment methods with the personal attention you should expect from your doctor. Simply put, we understand the importance of communication and trust and we are earning that trust one family at a time.

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Scott Darrohn
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