Healthy diets in rural Victoria-cheaper than unhealthy alternatives, yet unaffordable

Love, Penelope, Whelan, Jillian, Bell, Colin, Grainger, Felicity, Russell, Cherie, Lewis, Meron and Lee, Amanda 2018, Healthy diets in rural Victoria-cheaper than unhealthy alternatives, yet unaffordable, International journal of environmental research and public health, vol. 15, no. 11, pp. 1-16, doi: 10.3390/ijerph15112469.

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Title Healthy diets in rural Victoria-cheaper than unhealthy alternatives, yet unaffordable
Author(s) Love, PenelopeORCID iD for Love, Penelope
Whelan, JillianORCID iD for Whelan, Jillian
Bell, ColinORCID iD for Bell, Colin
Grainger, Felicity
Russell, Cherie
Lewis, Meron
Lee, Amanda
Journal name International journal of environmental research and public health
Volume number 15
Issue number 11
Article ID 2469
Start page 1
End page 16
Total pages 16
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2018
ISSN 1660-4601
Keyword(s) Healthy Diets ASAP tool
food security
food prices
diet affordability
rural communities
science & technology
life sciences & biomedicine
environmental sciences & ecology
public, environmental & occupational health
environmental sciences & ecology
Summary Rural communities experience higher rates of obesity and reduced food security compared with urban communities. The perception that healthy foods are expensive contributes to poor dietary choices. Providing an accessible, available, affordable healthy food supply is an equitable way to improve the nutritional quality of the diet for a community, however, local food supply data are rarely available for small rural towns. This study used the Healthy Diets ASAP tool to assess price, price differential and affordability of recommended (healthy) and current diets in a rural Local Government Area (LGA) (pop ≈ 7000; 10 towns) in Victoria, Australia. All retail food outlets were surveyed (n = 40). The four most populous towns had supermarkets; remaining towns had one general store each. Seven towns had café/take-away outlets, and all towns had at least one hotel/pub. For all towns the current unhealthy diet was more expensive than the recommended healthy diet, with 59.5% of the current food budget spent on discretionary items. Affordability of the healthy diet accounted for 30⁻32% of disposable income. This study confirms that while a healthy diet is less expensive than the current unhealthier diet, affordability is a challenge for rural communities. Food security is reduced further with restricted geographical access, a limited healthy food supply, and higher food prices.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/ijerph15112469
Field of Research MD Multidisciplinary
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, the authors
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Document type: Journal Article
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