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Food cost and availability in a rural setting in Australia

Burns, Cate, Gibbon, P., Boak, R., Baudinette, S. and Dunbar, James 2004, Food cost and availability in a rural setting in Australia, Rural and remote health : the international electronic journal of rural and remote health research, education, practice and policy, vol. 4, no. 311, pp. 1-9.

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Title Food cost and availability in a rural setting in Australia
Author(s) Burns, Cate
Gibbon, P.
Boak, R.
Baudinette, S.
Dunbar, James
Journal name Rural and remote health : the international electronic journal of rural and remote health research, education, practice and policy
Volume number 4
Issue number 311
Start page 1
End page 9
Publisher Australia Rural Health Education Network
Place of publication Deakin, A.C.T.
Publication date 2004-11-04
ISSN 1445-6354
Keyword(s) food access
nutrition
Summary Introduction: The burden of chronic diseases is rapidly increasing worldwide. In  Australia rural populations have a greater burden of disease. Chronic diseases are largely preventable with diet as a key risk factor. With respect to diet-related chronic disease, dietary risk may be due to poor food access, namely, poor availability and/or the high cost of healthy food. It is likely that poor food access is an issue in rural areas. Objective: To assess food access in rural south-west (SW) Victoria, Australia.

Methods: A total of 53 supermarkets and grocery stores in 42 towns participated in a survey of food cost and availability in the rural area of SW Victoria. The survey assessed availability and cost of a Healthy Food Access Basket (HFAB) which was designed to meet the nutritional needs of a family of 6 for 2 weeks.

Results: Seventy-two percent of the eligible shops in SW Victoria were surveyed. The study found that the complete HFAB was significantly more likely to be available in a town with a chain-owned store (p<0.00). The complete HFAB was less likely to be available from an independently owned store in a town with only one grocery shop (p<0.004). The average cost of the HFAB across SW Victoria was AU$380.30 ± $25.10 (mean ± SD). There was a mean range in difference of cost of the HFAB of $36.92. In particular, high variability was found in the cost of fruits and vegetables.

Conclusions: Cost and availability of healthy food may be compromised in rural areas. Implications: Improvements in food access in rural areas could reduce the high burden of disease suffered by rural communities.
Language eng
Field of Research 111706 Epidemiology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, CM Burns, P Gibbon, R Boak, S Baudinette, JA Dunbar
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30002496

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.