NATIONAL PULSE – Half of low-income families say Food Guide unaffordable

Most support the guide’s recommendations, but there’s a generational divide over the importance of dairy


April 10, 2019 – Nearly half of all Canadians say it has grown more difficult to afford to put food on the table over the last 12 months, and four-in-ten say adhering to the diet recommended in the recently updated Canada Food Guide would make paying their household’s food bill even more challenging.

These are some of the findings of a new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, which canvassed Canadians’ views on the price and nutritional value of the food they eat.

The sense that food is getting harder to afford is rooted in reality and cuts across income brackets, but it is Canadians in lower-income households who are more likely to see the consequences of rising prices in their lives.

Respondents with household incomes under $50,000 are considerably more likely to have chosen less healthy, cheaper options, or to have cut back on meat and vegetables as a response to their affordability woes.

Moreover, half of lower-income Canadians say it would be difficult for them to afford to eat a diet based on the new food guide, which places greater emphasis on plant-based foods and less on meat as a source of protein. Despite unease about their ability to afford the new guide, Canadians generally find these goals worthwhile.

More Key Findings:

  • Those who say they struggle to feed their households are twice as likely to say the Food Guide diet would be somewhat difficult (40% to 20%), and five times as likely (24% to 5%) to say it would be very difficult to afford, compared to those who say it is easy to feed their household
  • Canadians are divided about diets. Half (48%) say it is easy to eat healthy if they try, while half (48%) say that even if they try, this is not easy to accomplish
  • Further, six-in-ten Canadians (61%) say they have a hard time keeping track of what is healthy with changing diet trends. This response is most common among those ages 55 and older (68%)

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (6752 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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