HALIFAX, May 9, 2013 /CNW/ - According to a study released today at
Mount Saint Vincent University, the health of many Nova Scotians may be
at risk because they simply cannot afford to eat healthy.
The 2012 Participatory Food Costing report suggests that families and
individuals relying on minimum wage earnings or Income Assistance are
at significant risk of experiencing food insecurity. According to the
report, the average monthly cost of a basic nutritious diet for a
household of four with two adults and two children in Nova Scotia was
$850.59 as of June 2012. This is an increase of, on average, $79.94 per
month since 2010.
"Food insecurity occurs when individuals struggle to access enough food
for an active, healthy life," says Dr. Patty Williams, Canada Research
Chair in Food Security and Policy Change, Director of FoodARC and
Associate Professor of Applied Human Nutrition at the Mount. "As the
cost of a basic healthy diet continues to rise, more Nova Scotians are
becoming at risk of the negative physical, mental, and social health
effects of compromised nutrition."
"In households with inadequate incomes, the food budget is the most
flexible and is often used to cover other fixed costs such as shelter,
power, and transportation," says Dr. Williams. "Our current system
supporting families most at risk is not adequate and we see that
reflected in the difficult decisions they are being forced to make."
The report highlights the need for further examination of income and
income supports to ensure that all citizens receive an adequate livable
income. It also suggests that social policies directed toward food
security are needed to ensure that all Nova Scotians have adequate
resources to access a basic nutritious diet for their health and
well-being. In countries where there are strong policies in place that
minimize social and income inequality, the result is a healthier
population and a more peaceful and productive society overall.
SOURCE: Mount Saint Vincent University
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Ben Boudreau, Public Affairs
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