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Study finds healthy food too pricey for poor families

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A study by a South Australian university has found that it might be too expensive for low-income families to eat healthily.

The Flinders University's Healthy Food Basket study looked at the cost of buying enough food to satisfy the nutritional requirements of a family of five.

The university's Associate Professor John Coveney says it found healthy food could be costing some families more than 30 per cent of their weekly wage.

"What it indicates is that to eat healthily might be beyond the financial means of many many families, especially low-income families," he said.

"Now that is a bit of a worry because it does appear to be the case that low-income populations suffer more from diet-related diseases."

Associate Professor Coveney says the other side of the coin is that low-income families may be making unhealthy choices because junk food is cheaper than healthy foods like fruit, vegetables, meat and cereals.

"If you actually look at it another way you could say that it's much cheaper to eat food of a poorer nutritional value, in other words it's cheaper to eat foods which are less nutritious, which is a bit of a worry when you're promoting healthy foods," he said. © 2007 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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