Eating Junk is Expensive!!

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Eating junk now leads to chronic illnesses later which means trips to the doctor, time off work which then means losing wages if you end up exhausting sick leave. This leads to stress about missing work due to illness which then leads to lower productivity which leads to sleepless nights which begins the cycle again. Let’s not forget deductibles and copays when you do go to the doctor. Make no mistake, you will have these expenses if you think eating healthy is too expensive.


I think you know where I stand on this issue. Eating healthier NOW cuts your lifetime health expenses in the long run.

Leading Causes of Death in Females, 2004

All Females, All Ages Percent*
1) Heart disease 27.2
2) Cancer 22.0
3) Stroke 7.5
4) Chronic lower respiratory diseases 5.2
5) Alzheimer’s disease 3.9
6) Unintentional injuries 3.3
7) Diabetes 3.1
8) Influenza and pneumonia 2.7
9) Kidney disease 1.8
10) Septicemia 1.5

(Source: CDC)
Reconsider for a moment as you begin to think about the [tag]higher food prices[/tag], and fix your mouth to tell me about [tag]Whole Foods[/tag] prices being way outside of your budget. Just how expensive is eating junk food?

Chronic Illnesses

As the chart aboves states, the number one killer of women in the United States is heart disease. Women are less likely to survive a heart attack than men. We are at higher risk for death when we suffer a heart attack and there is no known reason why. The important health factors are smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history and age. But since this is about the cost of eating junk, lets have a stab at it:

Health Care/Health Insurance

When you’re eating unhealthy food on a consistent basis this opens the doors for [tag]health problems[/tag]. But we know this right? This may show up in the form of obesity, high body mass index described as over 35%, breathing problems, a waist size over 32, which then leads to a higher chance of stroke and heart attacks. Health insurance companies don’t like people they consider to be a high health risk and often refuse to insure them. But what about those of us who are insured? Well we have to take time off work to go and investigate the chest pains we’ve been having for the last 2-3 months. This means repeated trips to the doctor and having to pay high copays along with fulfilling deductibles. That gets expensive.


While you’re busy going to doctor’s appointments, you’re missing work. Your boss is pissed because he/she has to account for your time off and maybe even assign your work to someone else. You’re taking time off and for some this leads to taking unpaid time off from work depending on how serious the condition. You’re not getting paid and if you’re living paycheck to paycheck that means a bill won’t get paid. What’s the harm in that? The lights being shut off or a late payment reported to the credit bureau which then leads to higher interest rates. When you are at work you’re too stressed out about the high cost of your prescriptions and how you’re going to incorporate taking [tag]hypertension[/tag] and [tag]high cholesterol [/tag]medications and possibly insulin injections into your daily regime. Your productivity is reduced because when you do return to work you have to play catch up and put to the back of your mind your declining health. This leads to stress and sleepless nights which only intensify the cycle.

This post was actually inspired by our trip to Trader Joes today where we made out like bandits!! We paid a total of $99.59 for 4 full bags of groceries! This would have been closer to $150-$175 easy at Harris Teeter or Giant.

I agree that Whole Foods is expensive but consider [tag]Trader Joes[/tag] as a less expensive alternative. We also have our fruits and vegetables delivered weekly by [tag]Door To Door Organics[/tag]. Depending on where you shop for groceries it is more expensive but think of it as a long term investment in yourself, your body, your family and your livelihood. Dropping dead from a heart attack while celebrating your 45th birthday is so unnecessary and puts you and your family through hard times. How you take care of yourself from this day forward impacts not only you, but your children, spouses, significant others, family and friends.

Choose life and choose to live it well. Live it not giving more money to the health insurance machines betting you on your health insurance application that you will lose. Guess what? An average of 30% of us are losing that battle, don’t let it be you or someone you love. This isn’t only about money and the high cost of eating junk, but about your livelihood.

I wish all of you health and vitality in the new year!

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  • JK

    I just happened to surf through htere. This is truely true. I always have to get myself aware of that.

    Thanks for the great info here. This really helps remind me of how bad junk food is.

  • Natasha

    So apropos.

    Junk is cheap now, but so expensive tomorrow, A junk/ poor diet today ensures prescriptions, doctor visits, physical therapy, later.

  • Nicole

    Your site is so amazing Ginger!!! This article is so on point…you will either pay now or pay later. You truly are what you eat, each day is a struggle for me…but with more and more practice I am eating better each day!

    Thanks for sharing.

  • KB

    Great site Ginger! The article made me motivated to eat better and get that juicer I’ve been wanting for the longest. CreoleinDC, can you share the name of the Amish market you go to?

    I live in MD and am not familiar with any but would take a trip to check it out.

  • Kael

    Thank you for writing this because I never thought about it like that. I will be trying Door to Door Organics. Thank you for the suggestion and the link.

  • Lisa Lofty (LOBO Fitness)

    Excellent article. It is on point! Obesity related illnesses are WAY more expensive than any of the markets listed.

    GREAT site! :)

  • Ginger

    Thanks Dash! Let me know how it works out! Door To Door is like clockwork, once you set it, its automatic. They deliver on Wednesdays in the DC area.

  • Dash of Sugar

    I’m new to your site, and just wanted to say thanks for your helpful sugestions. I’ve been looking for something like Door to Door Organics for a while. I have a pretty busy schedule and it will be nice to eat well without much effort. I will make an effort to get to Trader Joe’s sometime in the near future since all of you are raving about it. I’ll let you know how it works out.

  • LH

    I’m a man but this is very good advice nonetheless. Thank you very much. I could stand to take your advice. I’m much better than I used to be, but by no means where I should be.

    Thanks again.

  • Ginger

    Tina Shoppers has GREAT prices but my only issue with them is that they do not carry organic meats or fruits (unless I missed that announcement). I love the butcher service from the one in Alexandria on Route 1 and they also have an organic section with low prices BUT my main issue is not eating foods with hormones, chemicals and other preservatives if I can help it.

    Try Trader Joes! They’re in Silver Spring, Annapolis and Alexandria.

  • Ginger

    @ Monica

    You know I have thought about going to an Amish market but didnt know they were cheaper.

    We still go to Whole Foods when we happen to be near one for the milk substitutes and another brand Quorn, a meat substitute.

  • Tina

    What about Shoppers is that ok? Around here (DMV) Shoppers is so cheap that we haven’t been to Giant or Safeway in a minute! Seeing what $100 can buy from Trader Joes makes a difference because I would have told you that its way more at regular supermarkets.

    Luv the site girl!

  • Ginger

    Hey Yaki!!

    I only found out about Trader Joes a few weeks ago when we happened to be in Annapolis. So we took a looksee and it was awesome! Jean loves the wild rice brand they have there so he stocks up and Iove the prices and variety of food they have there. We don’t do ALL of our shopping there but I would say about 80%. They don’t have the Rice Supreme Hazelnut and some of the meat kinds that we get at the Potomac Adventist Bookstore in Silver Spring.

  • CreoleInDC

    I love Trader Joe’s for our snacks. One weekend soon you should come visit the Amish Market by my house. It’s even cheaper than Trader Joe’s for all natural and organic produce and meat.

  • Yakini

    I love Trader Joes! Nabu and Shahid turned me on to it………. of course, all the folks in my program and the interns have always shopped there. But you know sometimes it takes “us” longer to get on the right path of eating healthy. *smh* When i spent that month in LA when Garvey was born i fell in love with TJ…. try to get out to the one in the city at least once a month now.

    I think this post is an important one though….. like you said, it may “seem” that you are spending more money on groceries now, as eating healthy costs a tad more than eating bad. But in the long run you win out, financially as well as health wise, because you are reducing diet-related health problems. So eating healthy now is a win-win overall.