Objective: Examine the cost of healthy food habits for welfare-dependent families in Australia. Method: A seven-day meal plan was developed, based on Australian public health recommendations, for two typical welfare-dependent families: a couple-family (two adults, two children) and a one-parent family (one adult, two children). The cost of the meal plan was calculated using market brand and generic brand grocery items, and total cost compared to income. Results: In Australia, the cost of healthy food habits uses about 40% of the disposable income of welfare-dependent families. Families earning an average income would spend only 20% of their disposable income to buy the same healthy food. Substituting generic brands for market brands reduced the weekly food cost by about 13%. This is one of few economic models to include generic brands. Conclusion: Compared with average-income Australian families, healthy food habits are a fiscal challenge to welfare-dependent families. Implications: These results provide a benchmark for economic and social policy analysis, and the influence disposable income has on prioritising healthy food habits.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2009|
- Australian dietary guidelines
- Food cost
- Food security
- Low-income family