POSITION STATEMENT It is the position of Dietitians of Canada that household food insecurity is a serious public health issue with profound effects on physical and mental health and social well-being. All households in Canada must have sufficient income for secure access to nutritious food after paying for other basic necessities. Given the alarming prevalence, severity and impact of household food insecurity in Canada, Dietitians of Canada calls for a pan-Canadian, government-led strategy to specifically reduce food insecurity at the household level, including policies that address the unique challenges of household food insecurity among Indigenous Peoples. Regular monitoring of the prevalence and severity of household food insecurity across all of Canada is required. Research must continue to address gaps in knowledge about household vulnerability to food insecurity and to evaluate the impact of policies developed to eliminate household food insecurity in Canada. Dietitians of Canada recommends: Development and implementation of a pan-Canadian government-led strategy that includes coordinated policies and programs, to ensure all households have consistent and sufficient income to be able to pay for basic needs, including food. Implementation of a federally-supported strategy to comprehensively address the additional and unique challenges related to household food insecurity among Indigenous Peoples, including assurance of food sovereignty, with access to lands and resources, for acquiring traditional/country foods, as well as improved access to more affordable and healthy store-bought/market foods in First Nation reserves and northern and remote communities. Commitment to mandatory, annual monitoring and reporting of the prevalence of marginal, moderate and severe household food insecurity in each province and territory across Canada, including among vulnerable populations, as well as regular evaluation of the impact of poverty reduction and protocols for screening within the health care system. Support for continued research to address gaps in knowledge about populations experiencing greater prevalence and severity of household food insecurity and to inform the implementation and evaluation of strategies and policies that will eliminate household food insecurity in Canada.
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
Low-income people are most vulnerable to food insecurity; many turn to community and/or charitable food programs to receive free or low-cost food. This needs assessment aims to collect information on the barriers to accessing food programs, the opportunities for improving food access, the barriers to eating fresh vegetables and fruit, and the opportunities to increasing their consumption among food-insecure people in Cobourg, Ontario.
We interviewed food program clients using structured individual interviews consisting of mostly opened-ended questions.
Food program clients identified barriers to using food programs as lack of transportation and the food programs having insufficient quantities of food or inconvenient operating hours. They also stated a lack of available vegetables and fruit at home, and income as barriers to eating more vegetables and fruit, but suggested a local fresh fruit and vegetable bulk-buying program called "Good Food Box" and community gardens as opportunities to help increase their vegetable and fruit intake.
Many of the barriers and opportunities identified can be addressed by working with community partners to help low-income individuals become more food secure.
To examine associations between the availability of residential-area food sources and dietary patterns among seniors.
Cross-sectional analyses. Individual-level data from the NuAge study on nutrition and healthy ageing were merged with geographic information system data on food store availability and area-level social composition. Two dietary patterns reflecting lower- and higher-quality diets (respectively designated 'western' and 'prudent') were identified from FFQ data. Two food source relative availability measures were calculated for a 500 m road-network buffer around participants' homes: (i) proportion of fast-food outlets (%FFO) relative to all restaurants and (ii) proportion of stores potentially selling healthful foods (%HFS, healthful food stores) relative to all food stores. Associations between dietary patterns and food source exposure were tested in linear regression models accounting for individual (health and sociodemographic) and area-level (socio-economic and ethnicity) covariates.
Montréal metropolitan area, Canada.
Urban-dwelling older adults (n 751), aged 68 to 84 years.
%FFO was inversely associated with prudent diet (ß = -0·105; P
Nutrition North Canada (NNC) is a retail subsidy program implemented in 2012 and designed to reduce the cost of nutritious food for residents living in Canada's remote, northern communities. The present study evaluates the extent to which NNC provides access to perishable, nutritious food for residents of remote northern communities.
Program documents, including fiscal and food cost reports for the period 2011-2015, retailer compliance reports, audits of the program, and the program's performance measurement strategy are examined for evidence that the subsidy is meeting its objectives in a manner both comprehensive and equitable across regions and communities.
NNC lacks price caps or other means of ensuring food is affordable and equitably priced in communities. Gaps in food cost reporting constrain the program's accountability. From 2011-15, no adjustments were made to community eligibility, subsidy rates, or the list of eligible foods in response to information provided by community members, critics, the Auditor General of Canada, and the program's own Advisory Board. Measures to increase program accountability, such as increasing subsidy information on point-of-sale receipts, make NNC more visible but do nothing to address underlying accountability issues Conclusions: The current structure and regulatory framework of NNC are insufficient to ensure the program meets its goal. Both the volume and cost of nutritious food delivered to communities is highly variable and dependent on factors such as retailers' pricing practices, over which the program has no control. It may be necessary to consider alternative forms of policy in order to produce sustainable improvements to food security in remote, northern communities.
Cites: Int J Circumpolar Health. 2016 Jul 05;75:31127 PMID 27388896
Few authors have investigated the institutional character of charitable food programs and their capacity to address food security in Canada.
We surveyed food program managers at charitable agencies in Greater Victoria, British Columbia. We discuss the structure of the "system" of charitable food provision, the value of sourced food, types of services provided, clients' demographic profile, and the estimated healthfulness of meals served. We also describe the proportion of major food types purchased and donated to agencies.
Thirty-six agencies served approximately 20,000 meals a week to about 17,000 people. Food valued at $3.2 million was purchased or donated; approximately 50% was donated, mainly by corporations. The largest value of food purchased and donated was from meat and alternatives (40.9%) and nonperishable food items (16%). Dairy products made up the smallest share of donated foods.
Charitable food programs in Victoria depend on food donations. The proportion of dairy products and produce is low, which raises questions about the healthfulness of foods currently fed to homeless and poor people in the city.
With political support from the Danish Organic Action Plan 2020, organic public procurement in Denmark is expected to increase. In order to evaluate changes in organic food procurement in Danish public kitchens, reliable methods are needed. The present study aimed to compare organic food procurement measurements by two methods and to collect and discuss baseline organic food procurement measurements from public kitchens participating in the Danish Organic Action Plan 2020.
Comparison study measuring organic food procurement by applying two different methods, one based on the use of procurement invoices (the Organic Cuisine Label method) and the other on self-reported procurement (the Dogme method). Baseline organic food procurement status was based on organic food procurement measurements and background information from public kitchens.
Public kitchens participating in the six organic food conversion projects funded by the Danish Organic Action Plan 2020 during 2012 and 2013.
Twenty-six public kitchens (comparison study) and 345 public kitchens (baseline organic food procurement status).
A high significant correlation coefficient was found between the two organic food procurement measurement methods (r=0·83, P
Taxation of unhealthy food is considered a regulation tool to improve diets. In 2011 Denmark introduced a tax on saturated fat in food products, the first country in the world to do so. The objective of the present paper is to investigate the effects of the tax on consumers' intake of saturated fat within three different types of food product group: minced beef, regular cream and sour cream.
We use an augmented version of the Linearized Almost Ideal Demand System (LAIDS) functional form for econometric analysis, allowing for tax-induced structural breaks.
Data originate from one of the largest retail chains in Denmark (Coop Danmark) and cover January 2010 to October 2012, with monthly records of sales volume, sales revenue and information about specific campaigns from 1293 stores.
The Danish fat tax had an insignificant or small negative effect on the price for low- and medium-fat varieties, and led to a 13-16 % price increase for high-fat varieties of minced beef and cream products. The tax induced substitution effects, budget effects and preference change effects on consumption, yielding a total decrease of 4-6 % in the intake of saturated fat from minced beef and regular cream, and a negligible effect on the intake from sour cream.
The Danish introduction of a tax on saturated fat in food in October 2011 had statistically significant effects on the sales of fat in minced beef and cream products, but the tax seems to have reduced the beyond-recommendation saturated fat intake to only a limited extent.
Through extensive dietary and dental surveys among infants and children living in Hawai'i starting in the late 1920s, medical researchers transformed immigrant and indigenous children's mouths into objects of pathological comparison, establishing sites of alternative empirical and epistemological contact that are endemic to U.S. Pacific empire. These studies resulted in the extension of odontoclasia, a veterinary diagnosis, from dogs to humans. As a dietary antidote, researchers recommended the wider consumption of poi, a starchy Hawaiian staple. Although this appears to be a novel endorsement of indigenous foodways predating contemporary activist efforts to reinstate traditional food cultures to support indigenous health, narrow technocratic specificity and the biomedical emphasis on the cultural rather than structural etiology of odontoclasia marginalized Hawaiian health by reducing morbidity to failures to conform to U.S. imperial modernity, which included industrial medical surveillance on plantations. Conversely, doctors credited plantations for saving Filipinos through successful imperial and hygienic assimilation.