March 30, 2012
The Cost of Healthy Eating in Oxford County: 2011 Report on Nutritious Food Basket Survey
Oxford County Public Health's 2011 annual report on the Nutritious Food Basket Survey
Public Health’s “Cost of healthy eating report” shows the cost of feeding an average family a healthy diet rose 12.3% last year
Download: The Cost of Healthy Eating in Oxford County: 2011 Annual Report on the Nutritious Food Basket Survey
Posted March 30, 2012
Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services released its 2011 annual report on the Nutritious Food Basket Survey today, The cost of healthy eating in Oxford County. Results from the 2011 survey show it cost $189.59 per week to feed an average family of four a healthy diet, an increase of 12.3% from the cost of buying the same items in 2010.
The 2011 Ontario average, taken from the food costings of all 36 of the province’s health units, was $177.83 per week for an average family of four, an increase of 5% from the previous year.
The current nutritious basket costing tool includes 67 foods from all four food groups at the lowest available price in a specific size, regardless of brand. Nutritious foods include vegetable and fruit, whole grains, milk and milk alternatives, and meat, legumes, eggs and fish. It does not include processed convenience foods, snacks, household products or personal care products, nor does it make allowances for special dietary needs, activity levels, eating out or inviting others for a meal. For these reasons, the cost of the nutritious food basket is usually lower than actual food spending for an average family.
Food insecurity exists in Oxford County and is continuing to rise. Results from the Canadian Community Health Survey 2009-2010 show that 9.3% of Oxford residents feel food insecure. The Salvation Army in Woodstock reports that it had provided food for 3,001 people in 2010, a quarter of which were children under 12 years old. It is well documented that children in food insecure households have significantly worse dietary intakes and eat fewer vegetables and fruit.
Oxford County Public Health is involved in several initiatives that aim to enhance food security in our community, including running school nutrition programs throughout the County (snack or breakfast programs), educating teens about prenatal nutrition, and supporting the Oxford County Food Charter through its administration of the Healthy Communities Fund.
The Nutritious Food Basket survey is a required program of public health units across Ontario to help monitor the cost and affordability of healthy eating. The information from the survey is used to help communities address local poverty and food security issues through advocacy, awareness, education and policy development. To download the report visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/health
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