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Nutritious food too costly for the poorest families

Latest research from the University of Auckland supports recent claims that many low-income families are unable to afford even a basic nutritious diet for their children.....

In response to the findings Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is calling on the Government to increase support for families so they are able to provide nutritious food to their children.

 

Latest research from the University of Auckland supports recent claims that many low-income families are unable to afford even a basic nutritious diet for their children. A paper published in Nutrition and Dietetics in December 2010 found that low-income families may not be able to afford meals recommended by the national nutritional guidelines, especially if there are teenagers in the household whose meals cost a lot more.

In response to the findings Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is calling on the Government to increase support for families so they are able to provide nutritious food to their children.

Professor Asher says, “In reality, rent is the highest cost faced by most families, closely followed by unavoidable expenses such as electricity, transport and school-related costs. This leaves little for a good diet, especially for older children who eat so much more.

Nutritious food for children is beyond the reach of many low-income families, especially those thousands of families ineligible for the full Working for Families package. This study clearly highlights that using food banks and purchasing cheap poor-quality food is not always a matter of choice. ”

CPAG is calling on the Government to help all families better afford nutritious food by extending the In-Work Tax credit to all low-income families. The cost of basic food items have increased over the last year, exemplified by the rise in milk price - 9%. “We see the outcome of poor children’s nutrition in our hospitals every day. This problem can’t be solved just by budgeting, and will not go away through magical thinking.”

Read the abstract of the study here: Affordable food too expensive for families.