Nutritionists blame the U.S. government for the population's unhealthy eating habits. The government, they charge, has kept the cost high for fresh produce. Too high, in fact, for the many Americans who simply cannot afford to pay for it.
"People who have less of a budget have less of a choice," Dr. Pablo Monsivais told CBS News. Monsivais, a researcher at the University of Washington, led a study about the economic effect of eating habits. The study was published in the journal "Health Affairs."
Dr. Marion Nestle, a health expert from New York University, agrees.
"People are hugely influenced by the price of food," she told CBS News. "If you don't have any money and go into the store to buy some fresh fruits, you might decide that it's cheaper to have a couple of fast food hamburgers."
In order to meet the US Department of Agriculture's "My Plate" guidelines for healthy eating, consumers would have to fill half of their plates with fruits and vegetables in order to meet proper nutrition goals.