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Food stress in Adelaide: the relationship between low income and the affordability of healthy food

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Food stress in Adelaide: the relationship between low income and the affordability of healthy food

by Ward PR, Verity F, Carter P, Tsourtos G, Coveney J, Wong KC

Journal article
Year 2013
Journal Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2013
Page 1-10

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

This study used the 'Healthy food basket' methodology to compare the cost of a week's supply of healthy food for a range of family incomes. Healthy food basket is a concept that estimates the amount of food that would supply a family with their daily nutritional needs for a week, consistent with the Australian guide to healthy eating.

The study found that low income families would have to spend up to 30% of their household income on consuming healthy food, whereas a high income family would only need to spend around 10% of their income to purchase the same amount and types of food. Low income families are therefore more vulnerable to diet related health problems because they often have to purchase cheaper foods which tend to be high in fat, sugar and salt.

When low income families are presented with having to cut back on costs it is often food that is compromised. This is because health care, utilities and transport expenditure are often a fixed cost and leave very little flexibility for families.

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