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Higher Food Prices Linked With Higher Blood Sugar Levels

TUESDAY, Feb. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among people with type 2 diabetes, higher prices for healthy foods are associated with higher blood glucose levels, according to research published online Feb. 13 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Tobenna D. Anekwe, Sc.D., and Ilya Rahkovsky, Ph.D., of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., analyzed data from the 1999 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Quarterly Food-at-Home Price database. The authors sought to assess the association between food prices and blood glucose levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that higher prices for healthy foods, specifically produce and low-fat dairy foods, were associated with higher levels of glycated hemoglobin and fasting plasma glucose three months later in individuals with type 2 diabetes. For people with type 2 diabetes, the association between higher prices for healthy foods and higher blood glucose levels was stronger for those with low income than for those with higher income.

"These findings suggest that low-income U.S. adults with type 2 diabetes benefit more (in terms of blood sugar) from low prices of healthy food than their higher-income counterparts," the authors write.

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