(HealthDay News) — Controlling the cost of fruits and vegetables to encourage increased consumption could prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, according to 2 studies presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2016 Scientific Sessions in Phoenix.

Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, BCh from Imperial College London, and colleagues compared 3 contrasting policies targeting fruit and vegetable intake. The researchers found that a mass media campaign would result in 27 000 to 85 000 fewer deaths dependent on the campaign duration, gaining up to 1 280 000 life years gained (LYG) by 2030. A 10% decrease in price could prevent approximately 90 000 deaths and gain 1 450 000 LYGs by 2030, while a 30% price drop could prevent about 270 000 deaths by 2030.

Thomas A. Gaziano, MD, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the impact of a 10% subsidy on prices of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and a 10% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in an individual-based microsimulation model. 


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Using conservative estimates of population growth, the researchers projected that the subsidy-increased consumption of fruits and vegetables would lead to 5- and 20-year reductions of 8% and 10% in CVD deaths, 16% and 18% in nonfatal myocardial infarction, and 25% and 24% in nonfatal stroke, respectively.

“A change in your diet can be challenging, but if achieved through personal choice or changes in the marketplace, it can have a profound effect on your cardiovascular health,” Dr Gaziano said in a statement.

References

  1. Pearson-Stuttard J, Bandosz P, Rehm CD, et al. Abstract MP12: Comparing Effectiveness of Mass Media Campaigns vs. Price Reductions Targeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake on US Cvd Mortality and Race Disparities. Circulation. 2016;133:AMP12.
  2. Sy S, Peñalvo J, Abrahams-Gessel S, et al. Abstract P280: Changes in Food Prices Improve Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Outcomes. Circulation. 2016;133:AP280.