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Healthy Food Remains Out-of-Reach for Many Families
Studies show many families on a tight budget are struggling to fill their shopping trolleys with healthy food.
The study found that the cost of a standardized healthy food basket (HFB), and therefore the cost of healthy eating, relative to income were very expensive for Adelaide families on lower incomes.
Lead author, Associate Professor John Coveney, said, “This is evidence that some Australians do not have access to affordable healthy foods. These issues need to be considered by governments when setting policy and public health programs aimed at helping Australian families make healthy food choices. We also need to monitor the price of a standard basket of food over time to keep track of food prices”.
Australia’s leading nutrition organization, the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), said these findings support their comprehensive obesity strategy which calls for more of a focus on helping lower income families who are most at risk of nutrition related problems have healthier eating habits.
Claire Hewat, DAA Executive Director, said, “We need to make it easier for Australian families to eat better. One part of this is better access to Accredited Practising Dietitians, who can help families make healthier food choices within their budget, through the extension of Medicare or other funded programs.”
“On a positive note, this study found that healthy foods were equally available in low and high income areas, however we know this is not the case for thousands of Australians including many living in rural and remote areas and many Indigenous communities. DAA is also calling on all governments to make nutrition a priority and commit more resources to getting all Australians eating better.”
The paper, “Adelaide Healthy Food Basket: A Survey on Food Cost, Availability and Affordability in Five Local Government Areas in Metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia”, assessed and compared the cost, availability and affordability of a standardized healthy food basket (HFB) in 5 areas of metropolitan Adelaide.
This paper is published in the December 2007 issue of Nutrition & Dietetics. It is available online at http://www.blackwell-
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About Nutrition & Dietetics
Nutrition & Dietetics is Australia’s leading peer-reviewed journal in its field. Covering all aspects of food, nutrition and dietetics, the Journal provides a forum for the reporting, discussion and development of scientifically credible knowledge related to human nutrition and dietetics. Widely respected in Australia and the rest of the world, Nutrition & Dietetics publishes original research, methodology analyses, commentaries and viewpoints, research reviews, book reviews and much more. Nutrition & Dietetics is the scientific journal of the Dietitians Association of Australia including the Journal of the New Zealand Dietetic Association.
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