Developing standardized methods to assess cost of healthy and unhealthy (current) diets in Australia

Lee, Amanda (2015) Developing standardized methods to assess cost of healthy and unhealthy (current) diets in Australia. In 14th Meeting of The International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA 2015), 3-6 June 2015, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)


Unhealthy diets contribute at least 14% to Australia's disease burden and are driven by ‘obesogenic’ food environments. Compliance with dietary recommendations is particularly poor amongst disadvantaged populations including low socioeconomic groups, those living in rural/remote areas and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The perception that healthy foods are expensive is a key barrier to healthy choices and a major determinant of diet-related health inequities. Available state/regional/local data (limited and non-comparable) suggests that, despite basic healthy foods not incurring GST, the cost of healthy food is higher and has increased more rapidly than unhealthy food over the last 15 years in Australia. However, there were no nationally standardised tools or protocols to benchmark, compare or monitor food prices and affordability in Australia.

Globally, we are leading work to develop and test approaches to assess the price differential of healthy and less-healthy (current) diets under the food price module of the International Network for Food and Obesity/non-communicable diseases (NCDs) Research, Monitoring and Action Support (INFORMAS).

This presentation describes contextualization of the INFORMAS approach to develop standardised Australian tools, survey protocols and data collection and analysis systems. The ‘healthy diet basket’ was based on the Australian Foundation Diet, 1 The ‘current diet basket’ and specific items included in each basket, were based on recent national dietary survey data.2 Data collection methods were piloted. The final tools and protocols were then applied to measure the price and affordability of healthy and less healthy (current) diets of different household groups in diverse communities across the nation. We have compared results for different geographical locations/population subgroups in Australia and assessed these against international INFORMAS benchmarks. The results inform the development of policy and practice, including those relevant to mooted changes to the GST base, to promote nutrition and healthy weight and prevent chronic disease in Australia.

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ID Code: 93295
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: food prices, food affordability, monitoring and surveillance, diet prices, INFORMAS
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
  • TAPPC/NHMRC/GNT 9100001
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 26 Feb 2016 02:58
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 02:58

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