Which is correct, ‘healthier’ or ‘more healthy’?

Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three waterfalls that collectively form Niagara Falls on the Niagara River along the Canada–United States border

Both ‘healthier’ and ‘more healthy’ are grammatically correct, and can be used depending on the context and emphasis you want to convey. The word ‘healthier’ is more commonly used in English when comparing different things.

Use of ‘healthier’

This is the comparative form of the adjective ‘healthy’. It is used when comparing the healthiness of two or more things. Examples:

• Eating fruits is healthier than eating candies.
• Drinking water is healthier than drinking sugary drinks.
• Is seafood healthier than meat?
• She decided to switch to a healthier diet after her annual check-up.
• Getting enough sleep is crucial for a healthier immune system.
• Walking or cycling to work is a healthier alternative to driving.
• Eating homemade meals is generally healthier than eating out.

Use of ‘more healthy’

This is the comparative form formed with ‘more’ + ‘healthy’. It is also correct but tends to be less common than ‘healthier’. Examples:

• His lifestyle is more healthy now that he exercises regularly.
• She started cooking at home to ensure her family consumes more healthy meals.
• His doctor suggested he adopt a more healthy lifestyle to improve his overall well-being.
• They made a resolution to lead a more healthy life by quitting smoking and exercising regularly.
• Choosing whole grains over refined carbohydrates is a more healthy choice.
• The company cafeteria has started offering more healthy options for lunch.

In these examples, ‘healthier’ is used to compare the relative health benefits between different choices or situations. ‘More healthy’, on the other hand, emphasizes the concept of healthiness itself, the quality of being healthy and is often used to describe choices, lifestyles, or options that promote overall health and well-being.

Usage Note:
• Preference: In most cases, ‘healthier’ is preferred and more commonly used in everyday language. It is straightforward and concise.
• Formal Contexts: In more formal writing or when you want to emphasize the adverbial nature of ‘more’ with ‘healthy’, you might use ‘more healthy’.

In summary, while both are correct, ‘healthier’ is generally the more commonly used and preferred form in everyday English.

Photo: Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three waterfalls that collectively form Niagara Falls on the Niagara River along the Canada–United States border.