Inflation taking a toll on healthcare, nutrition decisions, study says

Americans have made tough trade-offs to deal with inflation, which negatively impacts their health and well-being, according to a new survey conducted by Nationwide Retirement Institute.

Researchers surveyed 1,140 adults in the U.S. and found that 17 percent of households received food or goods from a food bank, and 17 percent say they have stopped buying healthier foods over the last 12 months. Eighteen percent of Americans say they skipped meals or did not buy groceries due to high inflation, according to an Oct. 25 news release. 

The cost of healthcare is also causing a struggle, as 14 percent say they have canceled or postponed plans to see a specialist in the past 12 months, 10 percent said they did not take prescribed medication, and 11 percent said they did not get an annual physical due to high inflation. 

"As the price of health care and basic necessities continue to reach record highs, Americans have been forced to make tough decisions that sacrifice their health and wellbeing. While these decisions are understandable and challenging, making short-term tradeoffs may have long-term impacts. Neglecting your health now can lead to far bigger costs as you age and approach retirement. This is such a critical time to consult with a financial professional to create a plan that prioritizes your health care needs now and in retirement," said Kristi Rodriguez, senior vice president of the Nationwide Retirement Institute. 

The survey also found that 10 percent of people decreased their retirement plan contributions in the past 12 months to pay for healthcare expenses, and another 14 percent are considering decreasing their contributions this year due to inflation, according to the report.

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