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A healthy diet consistent with Australian health recommendations is too expensive for welfare-dependant families

journal contribution
posted on 2009-12-01, 00:00 authored by C Kettings, Andrew SinclairAndrew Sinclair, M Voevodin
Objective: Examine the cost of healthy food habits for welfare-dependent families in Australia.

Method:  A seven-day meal plan was developed, based on Australian public health recommendations, for two typical welfare-dependent families: a couple-family (two adults, two children) and a one-parent family (one adult, two children). The cost of the meal plan was calculated using market brand and generic brand grocery items, and total cost compared to income.

Results: In Australia, the cost of healthy food habits uses about 40% of the disposable income of welfare-dependent families. Families earning an average income would spend only 20% of their disposable income to buy the same healthy food. Substituting generic brands for market brands reduced the weekly food cost by about 13%. This is one of few economic models to include generic brands.

Conclusion: Compared with average-income Australian families, healthy food habits are a fiscal challenge to welfare-dependent families.

Implications: These results provide a benchmark for economic and social policy analysis, and the influence disposable income has on prioritising healthy food habits.

History

Journal

Australian and New Zealand journal of public health

Volume

33

Issue

6

Pagination

566 - 572

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing

Location

Richmond, Vic.

ISSN

1326-0200

eISSN

1753-6405

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2009, Wiley