Economic incentives through health insurance and promote healthier behavior
In a recent study has shown that economic incentives could promote through a health insurance healthier behavior. By the prescription of healthy food, many serious diseases could be prevented. In addition, as a result, the health costs would drop significantly.
Consumer advocates in Germany have in the past called for the abolition of the VAT for fruit and vegetables, in order to make such food more affordable and to encourage the consumer to consume more of these healthy products. Also, economic incentives through health insurance funds could contribute to a healthier life style. This was shown by a recent study by American scientists.
Impact of nutrition on health
In the past years, numerous scientific studies have been carried out, which could show the importance of proper nutrition for the health of the people.
Especially whole grain products, nuts and seeds, and vegetable oils have been found in studies to be advantageous.
For example, German researchers found, for example, fiber, such as those in whole grain products, high blood pressure, similar to well as blood pressure pills.
And American scientists have reported that plant-based proteins from nuts and seeds can reduce the risk for heart disease.
Through the right fat intake diseases can be prevented. It is generally recommended to rely more on vegetable instead of animal products.
Fruits and vegetables should also be regularly on the menu.
Prescription healthy food
Improper diet is one of the leading risk factors for diseases such as Diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.
However, the dining plan many people are too often unhealthy products. So how can you encourage consumers to focus more on healthy food?
Among other things, through financial incentives, such as a recently in the journal “PLOS Medicine” published a study has shown.
The US research team found that a prescription of healthy food to bring at the cost of health insurance, significant health benefits and is extremely cost-could be efficient.
According to the scientists, this measure could be just as or more effective than other common interventions, such as preventive drug treatments for high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Economic and health benefits
“In almost all countries, the expenditure for health care continue to rise dramatically,” write the study authors point out that nutrition is a key driver of this development.
Therefore, the micro-simulation study estimated the economic and health benefits that would occur if 30 percent of the costs for the purchase of healthy foods in supermarkets and grocery stores would be covered by health programs.
Examines two scenarios: a 30 percent coverage of fruit and vegetable purchases; and 30 percent coverage in the purchase of fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, nuts / seeds, seafood, and vegetable oils.
Health care costs would be reduced
The study came to the result that both programs would improve the health and health care costs lower.
An incentive for the purchase of fruits and vegetables would prevent accordingly, 1.93 million cardiovascular diseases.
And in the second scenario, even 3,28 million less cardiovascular be diseases and in addition, 120,000 of avoided Diabetes cases are possible.
“Our results support the introduction and evaluation of healthy food recipes within the health systems, to improve the nutrition and health of Americans,” said Dr. Renata Micha of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, according to a post of the portal, “Nutrition Insight”.
But: “simulation studies such as these provide quantitative estimates of Benefit and uncertainty, however, can not prove the impact on health and the economy,” limit the study’s authors. (ad)