Great expense of healthy eating

Welfare-dependent families cannot afford a healthy diet. A study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health found that to eat healthily for a week, a family of four would have to spend $239. A welfare-dependent family of two adults and two children receives an average $544 a week. A comparable average-wage couple-family has an income of $1,323 a week. Melanie Voevodin and her Deakin University colleagues analysed the cost of a seven day meal plan for a family of four that followed recommended healthy eating guidelines. The study excluded the costs of other expenses such as rent, cleaning products, personal items, incidental school costs, utility and medical bills or transport costs. “This suggests that welfare-dependent families (almost 20% of the population) could not afford healthy food habits,” said Ms Voevodin. “To improve the health of Australians in the long term, we must establish food and nutrition monitoring programs to better understand the economic barriers to healthy food habits in Australia.”


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