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5 frugal lessons from the Depression

Don't place frugality over nutrition; health is priceless
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Don't place frugality over nutrition; health is priceless

Then: In the 1930s, malnutrition was a real concern, as workers lost jobs and the Dust Bowl devastated farms. While the middle class wasn't at risk, it was susceptible to ad campaigns for then-new processed foods (such as canned vegetables and instant cereal) that used scary words like "lethargic and pale" next to images of children. Advertisers knew just how to panic the middle-class mother. "Fear is a good way to sell things," says McElvaine.

"Packaged and processed foods took care of concerns about whether food was fresh," says Peggy Kreshel, associate professor of advertising in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of Georgia. Canned vegetables and fruit offered nutrition in a tin.

Now: Boost fruit and vegetable consumption -- whether fresh, frozen or canned -- to lose weight and save money in the long run. However, highly processed foods shouldn't be such an easy sell. Cheap, high-calorie foods can contribute to obesity and increased health care costs due to weight-related issues such as diabetes and heart conditions.


 

 

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