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Costing recommended (healthy) and current (unhealthy) diets in urban and inner regional areas of Australia using remote price collection methods

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Abstract
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t Objective:
t To compare the cost and affordability of two fortnightly diets (representing the national guidelines and current consumption) across areas containing Australia’s major supermarkets.
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t Design:
t The Healthy Diets Australian Standardised Affordability and Pricing protocol was used.
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t Setting:
t Price data were collected online and via phone calls in 51 urban and inner regional locations across Australia.
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t Participants:
t N/A.
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t Results:
t Healthy diets were consistently less expensive than current (unhealthy) diets. Nonetheless, healthy diets would cost 25-26% of the disposable income for low-income households and 30-31% of the poverty line. Differences in gross incomes (the most available income metric which overrepresents disposable income) drove national variations in diet affordability (from 14% of the median gross household incomes in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory, to 25% of the median gross household income in Tasmania).
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t Conclusions:
t In Australian cities and regional areas with major supermarkets, access to affordable diets remain problematic for families receiving low incomes. These findings are likely to be exacerbated in outer regional and remote areas (not included in this study). To make healthy diets economically appealing, policies that reduce the (absolute and relative) costs of healthy diets and increase the incomes of Australians living in poverty are required.
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History

Journal

Public Health Nutrition

Pagination

1 - 10

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Location

Cambridge, Eng.

ISSN

1368-9800

eISSN

1475-2727

Language

eng

Notes

In Press

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal