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.
This study addresses links between economic and nutritional variation in an urban North American setting. We employed a mixed-methods approach including mapping, semi-structured interviews, and food outlet surveys to investigate the public health impact of variation in the cost and availability of food between two socioeconomically distinct neighbourhoods of the City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Food cost in supermarkets was not found to be higher in the low-income neighbourhood, though it was much higher in the variety stores that predominate in the low-income neighbourhood. Moreover, there was a very low availability of produce in the variety stores. Reduced fresh produce availability and lower incomes have the potential to negatively influence public health in the less-affluent study area by increasing the difficulty of acquiring healthy foods.
Developing indicators to measure the different facets of food security presents numerous conceptual and methodological challenges. This paper adopts an ecological framework to reflect on these issues through an examination of the Healthy Food Basket (HFB) tool. The HFB tool is used to measure food security conditions by determining the cost and availability of a group of foods in a shopping basket across a range of stores in different regions and neighbourhoods. The paper discusses the ability of the HFB tool to describe micro-, meso- and macro-level influences on food security and the use of the ecological model in developing complementary and alternative strategies for understanding and monitoring food security.
Problems related to food security in Russian Arctic (dietary imbalance, predominance of carbohydrates, shortage of milk products, vegetables and fruits, deficit of vitamins and microelements, chemical, infectious and parasitic food contamination) have been defined in the literature. But no standard protocol of food security assessment has been used in the majority of studies.
Our aim was to obtain food security indicators, identified within an Arctic collaboration, for selected regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East, and to compare food safety in these territories.
In 18 regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East, the following indicators of food security were analyzed: food costs, food consumption, and chemical and biological food contamination for the period 2000-2011.
Food costs in the regions are high, comprising 23-43% of household income. Only 4 out of 10 food groups (fish products, cereals, sugar, plant oil) are consumed in sufficient amounts. The consumption of milk products, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, fruits (and berries) is severely low in a majority of the selected regions. There are high levels of biological contamination of food in many regions. The biological and chemical contamination situation is alarming, especially in Chukotka. Only 7 food pollutants are under regular control; among pesticides, only DDT. Evenki AO and Magadan Oblast have reached peak values in food contaminants compared with other regions. Mercury in local fish has not been analyzed in the majority of the regions. In 3 regions, no monitoring of DDT occurs. Aflatoxins have not been analyzed in 5 regions. Nitrates had the highest percentage in excess of the hygienic threshold in all regions. Excesses of other pollutants in different regions were episodic and as a rule not high.
Improvement of the food supply and food accessibility in the regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East is of utmost importance. Both quantitative and qualitative control of chemical and biological contaminants in food is insufficient and demands radical enhancement aimed at improving food security.
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The cost of purchasing a nutritionally adequate diet in four Yukon communities was examined, based on the 46 food items and quantities of the federal government's Northern Food Basket. In Old Crow, unit purchase prices were on average 250% of those in Edmonton, while in three southern Yukon communities, unit purchase prices were about 125% of those in Edmonton. In quantities needed to meet weekly nutrient needs of a family of four, the cost in Old Crow was 320% of that in Edmonton, while in three southern Yukon communities, it was 140%. It appears that due to financial necessity, Yukon aboriginal people need continuing access to traditional food resources (wild game animals, birds, fish and berries). Since the Northern Food Basket does not include any traditional foods, it alone is of limited acceptability to these people. The high cost of marketed food and the role of traditional foods in contemporary diets should be considered in giving dietary advice and in determining food allowances in social assistance programs.
In recognition of the growing challenge that food insecurity has on population health, a multisectoral partnership in Nova Scotia has been working since 2001 to address province-wide accessibility to a nutritious diet. The participatory food costing (PFC) model has been at the forefront of provincial and national efforts to address food insecurity; a local foods component was incorporated in 2004. This model has engaged community partners, including those affected by food insecurity, in all stages of the research, thereby building capacity at multiple levels to influence policy change and food systems redesign. By putting principles of participatory action research into practice, dietitians have contributed their technical, research, and facilitation expertise to support capacity building among the partners. The PFC model has provided people experiencing food insecurity with a mechanism for sharing their voices. By valuing different ways of knowing, the model has facilitated much-needed dialogue on the broad and interrelated determinants of food security and mobilized knowledge that reflects these perspectives. The development of the model is described, as are lessons learned from a decade of highly productive research and knowledge mobilization that have increased stakeholders' understanding of and involvement in addressing the many facets of food security in Nova Scotia.
To compare food expenditure patterns between low-income households and higher- income households in the Canadian population, and to examine the relationship between food expenditure patterns and the presence or absence of housing payments among low-income households.
Secondary data analysis of the 1996 Family Food Expenditure Survey conducted by Statistics Canada.
Sociodemographic data and 1-week food expenditure data for 9793 households were analysed.
Data were collected from a nationally representative sample drawn through stratified multistage sampling. Low-income households were identified using Statistics Canada's Low Income Measures.
Total food expenditures, expenditures at stores and expenditures in restaurants were lower among low-income households compared with other households. Despite allocating a slightly greater proportion of their food dollars to milk products, low-income households purchased significantly fewer servings of these foods. They also purchased fewer servings of fruits and vegetables than did higher-income households. The effect of low income on milk product purchases persisted when the sample was stratified by education and expenditure patterns were examined in relation to income within strata. Among low-income households, the purchase of milk products and meat and alternatives was significantly lower for households that had to pay rents or mortgages than for those without housing payments.
Our findings indicate that, among Canadian households, access to milk products and fruits and vegetables may be constrained in the context of low incomes. This study highlights the need for greater attention to the affordability of nutritious foods for low-income groups.
To characterize the relationships between selected socio-demographic factors and food selection among Canadian households.
A secondary analysis of data from the 1996 Family Food Expenditure survey was conducted (n=10,924). Household food purchases were classified into one of the five food groups from Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating. Parametric and non-parametric modelling techniques were employed to analyse the effects of household size, composition, income and education on the proportion of income spent on each food group and the quantity purchased from each food group.
Household size, composition, income and education together explained 21-29% of the variation in food purchasing. Households with older adults spent a greater share of their income on vegetables and fruit (P