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Ag Secretary in Sioux Falls promoting healthier food choices

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, gets a tour of the Hy-Vee produce department from store dietitian Janine Albers, before a news conference focusing on healthy food choices, Thursday, March 28, 2013, in Sioux Falls. (AP Photo/Dirk Lammers)

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says it's a misconception that fruits and vegetables are more expensive than processed food.

Vilsack, speaking during a news conference Thursday at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Sioux Falls, says price comparisons that perpetuate the myth are based on calories. He says it makes no sense to compare a 100-calorie portion of broccoli to a 100-calorie portion of potato chips, and foods should be judged based on weight and portion size.

Vilsack was visiting South Dakota to talk about USDA efforts to improve access to healthy foods.

He says a third of the nation's children are obese or at the risk of becoming obese, and expanding access to affordable, healthy options and giving parents more information will help reverse the crisis.