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Nutrients  2010 

Monitoring the Affordability of Healthy Eating: A Case Study of 10 Years of the Illawarra Healthy Food Basket

DOI: 10.3390/nu2111132

Keywords: food security, healthy food basket, food price

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Abstract:

Healthy food baskets have been used around the world for a variety of purposes, including: examining the difference in cost between healthy and unhealthy food; mapping the availability of healthy foods in different locations; calculating the minimum cost of an adequate diet for social policy planning; developing educational material on low cost eating and examining trends on food costs over time. In Australia, the Illawarra Healthy Food Basket was developed in 2000 to monitor trends in the affordability of healthy food compared to average weekly wages and social welfare benefits for the unemployed. It consists of 57 items selected to meet the nutritional requirements of a reference family of five. Bi-annual costing from 2000–2009 has shown that the basket costs have increased by 38.4% in the 10-year period, but that affordability has remained relatively constant at around 30% of average household incomes.

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