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Consumer Watch: Shocking number of Oklahomans say they don't eat much produce

Avoiding fruits and vegetables could be an expensive mistake. (KOKH)

A shocking number of Oklahomans say they eat one to zero servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Healthy eating is sometimes considered too expensive, but access may be more of an issue than cost. An Oklahoma City registered dietitian nutritionist has some tough love for those people who are proud of skipping out on vegetables.

Ten to 15 dollars could get a family vegetable for the week. If you live in a place with little access to produce, that can be a problem, but when it comes to cost, Karen Funderburg says it's easy to get creative.

“Eating healthy is not expensive, I think particularly when you compare it to processed foods or eating in restaurants, “says Funderburg a registered dietitian nutritionist with Nutrition Specialists.

The challenge for many people is, that they aren't willing to try.

“It isn't difficult to find out how to prepare things, but I think people are reluctant to spend money on something that they are not quite sure that they are even going to like, or how they are going to prepare it.

Health experts say that you may be able to live your life without eating a balanced diet, but you will run the risk of malnutrition and obesity. Other problems include feeling tired all the time and getting sick more often.

“Whether you like vegetables or not, you try to do your best to get some of them in, and there is not a pill or a potion that you can take that will replace the nutrition that is in vegetables and fruit,” says Funderburg.

Federal data from the CDC shows about half of all Oklahomans say they will skip out on any kind of fruit serving a day, and a quarter will avoid eating even one serving of vegetables.

Focusing on better eating habits is important for your health, both physical and financial. Poor diet can make it more likely a person will develop serious debilitating health problems, and that often comes with added expenses at a time it is important to focus on retirement. Obesity medical costs alone run into an estimated 147 billion dollars nationally.

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