ODT: Financial stress causing poor diets

Ellie Constantine writes in the Otago Daily Times about research which suggests that poor dietary choices have more to do with the affordability of healthy food than access or price.

The research, from New Zealand and Australia, shows that poor families spend a far larger proportion of their income on food (about 30%), and consequently are not always to afford healthy food – experts say healthy food should be made cheaper to encourage better eating habits in people.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Food security relates to a person’s ability to access enough food to live an active and healthy life.

“Ms Smith’s Family Food Environment Survey, conducted in Dunedin and Wellington in 2007 and 2008, found 60% of New Zealand households were food secure, 30% were moderately secure, and 10% had low food security.

“People with moderate to low food security often limited variety and decreased the quality of the food they ate, ran out of some food, became stressed, decreased the quantity of food they ate, and began to rely on foodbanks or family and friends for support.”