A number of studies have pointed to the pressure that housing costs can exert on the resources available for food. The objectives of the present study were to characterise the relationship between the proportion of income absorbed by housing and the adequacy of household food expenditures across the Canadian population and within income quintiles; and to elucidate the impact of receipt of a housing subsidy on adequacy of food expenditures among low-income tenant households.
The 2001 Survey of Household Spending, conducted by Statistics Canada, was a national cross-sectional survey that collected detailed information on expenditures on goods and services. The adequacy of food spending was assessed in relation to the cost of a basic nutritious diet.
The person with primary responsibility for financial maintenance from 15 535 households from all provinces and territories.
As the proportion of income allocated to housing increased, food spending adequacy declined significantly among households in the three lowest income quintiles. After accounting for household income and composition, receipt of a housing subsidy was associated with an improvement in adequacy of food spending among low-income tenant households, but still mean food spending fell below the cost of a basic nutritious diet even among subsidised households.
This study indicates that housing costs compromise the food access of some low-income households and speaks to the need to re-examine policies related to housing affordability and income adequacy.
Alcohol consumption is a significant cause of disease, death and social harm, and it clusters with smoking tobacco and an unhealthy diet. Using automatically registered retail data for research purposes is a novel approach, which is not subject to underreporting bias. Based on loyalty card data (LoCard) obtained by a major Finnish retailer holding a market share of 47%, we examined alcohol expenditure and their associations with food and tobacco expenditures.
The data consisted of 1,527,217 shopping events in 2016 among 13,274 loyalty card holders from southern Finland. A K-means cluster analysis was applied to group the shopping baskets according to their content of alcoholic beverages. The differences in the absolute and relative means of food and tobacco between the clusters were tested by linear mixed models with the loyalty card holder as the random factor.
By far, the most common basket type contained no alcoholic beverages, followed by baskets containing a small number of beers or ciders. The expenditure on food increased along with the expenditure on alcoholic beverages. The foods most consistently associated with alcohol purchases were sausages, soft drinks and snacks. The expenditure on cigarettes relative to total basket price peaked in the mid-price alcohol baskets.
Clustering of unhealthy choices occurred on the level of individual shopping events. People who bought many alcoholic beverages did not trim their food budget. Automatically registered purchase data provide valuable insight into the health behaviours of individuals and the population.
Trends in food retailing associated with the consolidation of smaller-format retailers into fewer, larger-format supercentres have left some rural areas with fewer sources of nutritious, affordable food. Access to nutritious, affordable food is essential for good dietary habits and combating health issues such as type-2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Many studies on food environments use inaccurate or incomplete methods for locating food retailers, which may be responsible for mischaracterising food deserts. This study uses databases of every residence in and every food retailer in and around Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada. Residences were geocoded to their precise address, and network analysis techniques were performed in a geographic information system (GIS) to determine distances between every residence and different types of food retailers (grocery stores, fast food, fruit and vegetable sources, grocery stores plus fruit and vegetable sources, variety stores), both when considering and neglecting facilities outside the area of study, to account for a deficiency in analysis termed the 'edge effect'.
Analysis of household accessibility to food outlets by neighbourhood socioeconomic distress level indicated that residents in the most distressed neighbourhoods tended to have better accessibility to all types of food retailers. In the most distressed neighbourhoods, 79 percent of residences were within walking distance of a grocery store, compared to only 10 percent in the least distressed neighbourhoods. When the edge effect was neglected, 37 percent of distance estimates proved inaccurate. Average accessibility to all food retailer types improved dramatically when food outlets adjacent to the study area were considered, thereby controlling for the edge effect.
By neglecting to consider food retailers just outside study area boundaries, previous studies may significantly over-report the actual distance necessary to travel for food. Research on food access spanning large rural regions requires methods that accurately geocode residents and their food sources. By implementing methods akin to those in this paper, future research will be better able to identify areas with poor food accessibility. Improving identification of food desert communities is a first step in facilitating more effective deployment of food policies and programs in those communities.
Cites: Can J Public Health. 2005 Jan-Feb;96(1):55-915682698
OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to investigate whether organic conversion in catering has positive effects on the nutritional quality of menus offered. DESIGN: The methodology was based on a self-administered questionnaire. The self-declared priority given to the use of organic foods was measured as the basis for assigning catering managers to one of two groups: 'green' or 'non-green' caterers. These groups were then compared with regard to the relative nutritional quality of the menu options offered to customers. SETTING: The study was carried out among randomly selected Danish worksite catering outlets. SUBJECTS: The subjects participating in the study comprised 526 Danish worksite catering managers. RESULTS: The results showed a strong correlation between caterers' 'green-ness' and the nutritional quality of the menu options offered. Green caters had more healthy options in their menus than non-green caters, which is likely to result in improved nutritional quality of the diets of end consumers. The reason for this may partly be the increased service training efforts that green caterers practise in order to be able to implement organic foods successfully. It may also be associated with the fact that the price premiums and availability of the organic products forces caterers to serve menus with higher amounts of root and non-green leafy vegetables, pulses and seasonal vegetables. CONCLUSION: The present findings suggest that organic conversion of public canteens may be a good opportunity to promote healthier eating in public catering.
To assess the affordability of a nutritious diet for households earning minimum wage in Nova Scotia.
Food costing data were collected in 43 randomly selected grocery stores throughout NS in 2002 using the National Nutritious Food Basket (NNFB). To estimate the affordability of a nutritious diet for households earning minimum wage, average monthly costs for essential expenses were subtracted from overall income to see if enough money remained for the cost of the NNFB. This was calculated for three types of household: 1) two parents and two children; 2) lone parent and two children; and 3) single male. Calculations were also made for the proposed 2006 minimum wage increase with expenses adjusted using the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The monthly cost of the NNFB priced in 2002 for the three types of household was 572.90 dollars, 351.68 dollars, and 198.73 dollars, respectively. Put into the context of basic living, these data showed that Nova Scotians relying on minimum wage could not afford to purchase a nutritious diet and meet their basic needs, placing their health at risk. These basic expenses do not include other routine costs, such as personal hygiene products, household and laundry cleaners, and prescriptions and costs associated with physical activity, education or savings for unexpected expenses.
People working at minimum wage in Nova Scotia have not had adequate income to meet basic needs, including a nutritious diet. The 2006 increase in minimum wage to 7.15 dollars/hr is inadequate to ensure that Nova Scotians working at minimum wage are able to meet these basic needs. Wage increases and supplements, along with supports for expenses such as childcare and transportation, are indicated to address this public health problem.
Food costs for 30 children under dietary treatment for familial hypercholesterolaemia were compared with those of 105 other Danish children. The daily intake of macronutrients and the daily cost of the diet for each child were calculated from dietary intakes and average prices of 365 different food items. The mean +/- SE percentages of energy (E%) from fat in the diet of children with and without known familial hypercholesterolaemia were 23.6 +/- 0.8 E+ and 34.5 +/- 0.5 E%, respectively (P
Few studies have assessed the construct validity of measures of neighborhood food environment, which remains a major challenge in accurately assessing food access. In this study, we adapted a psychometric tool to examine the construct validity of 4 such measures for 3 constructs. We used 4 food-environment measures to collect objective data from 422 Ontario, Canada, food stores in 2010. Residents' perceptions of their neighborhood food environment were collected from 2,397 households between 2009 and 2010. Objective and perceptual data were aggregated within buffer zones around respondents' homes (at 250 m, 500 m, 1,000 m, and 1,500 m). We constructed multitrait-multimethod matrices for each scale to examine construct validity for the constructs of food availability, food quality, and food affordability. Convergent validity between objective measures decreased with increasing geographic scale. Convergent validity between objective and subjective measures increased with increasing geographic scale. High discriminant validity coefficients existed between food availability and food quality, indicating that these two constructs may not be distinct in this setting. We conclude that the construct validity of food environment measures varies over geographic scales, which has implications for research, policy, and practice.
The success of new food processing technologies is highly dependent on consumers' acceptance. The purpose of this paper is to study consumers' perceptions of two new processing technologies and food products produced by means of these novel technologies. To accomplish this, a qualitative study on consumer attitudes towards high-pressure processing (HPP) and pulsed electric field (PEF) processing of food was carried out. In all 97 adults between 20 and 71 years of age participated in 12 focus groups conducted in Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Norway and Denmark using a common guideline. Participants were introduced to the HPP and PEF technologies and then to the effect of the two new technologies on two specific product categories: juice and baby food. The transcribed data was content analysed and the coded data was transformed into diagrams using UCINET 5 and NETDRAW. The results show that consumers perceived the main advantages of HPP and PEF products to be the products' naturalness, improved taste and their high nutritional value, whereas the main disadvantage was the lack of information about the PEF and HPP products. The results of the participants' evaluation of the PEF and HPP processes showed that environmental friendliness and the more natural products were seen as the main advantages, while they were concerned about body and health, the higher price of the products, the lack of information about the technologies and a general scepticism. The study also shows that North European participants were a bit more sceptical towards PEF and HPP products than the East European participants.