The Cost of Healthy Eating in Alberta
Harrison Blizzard, BSc RD, CAPRA member and Dietitian, Population & Public Health, Nutrition Services – Alberta Health Services delivered an informative and insightful presentation to CAPRA members highlighting contents from three significant reports created by Alberta Health Services’ Nutrition Services.
The documents illustrate how many households in Alberta may be unable to afford a healthy diet when trying to meet all their basic needs. The reports include an analysis of cost and affordability of healthy eating in Alberta along with an overview of the causes, prevalence and impacts of household food insecurity.
Three reports were presented.
- The Cost of Healthy Eating in Alberta outlines a conservative estimate of the average monthly cost of a basic, healthy diet for all Albertans who are two years of age and older. This report also presents an estimate of healthy food costs for specific communities across the province.
- The Affordability of Healthy Eating in Alberta illustrates how individuals and families at higher risk for household food insecurity cannot afford to follow a basic, healthy diet if they also wish to pay for other essential living expenses. This report also outlines actions to promote health equity and improve health and social outcomes for food insecure households in Alberta.
- Household Food Insecurity in Alberta: A Backgrounder provides a detailed overview of the relationship between income, health and household food insecurity in Alberta.
The reports are designed to assist stakeholders from all sectors identify social priorities and opportunities for action. As one of those stakeholders, CAPRA members were extremely interested in the material presented and how we might support the community with advocacy and education.
Recommended actions from the reports for our consideration included:
- Assess population inequities and report effective strategies to promote equity
- Modify and reorient services to reduce the inequities of food insecure households
- Partner with other sectors
- Participate in policy development that supports health equity.
Harrison had meeting participants work through 5 scenarios that depicted some typical households in Alberta that experience food insecurity. Participants quickly realized how quickly and easily households can find themselves in a food insecure situation.
The reports and their supporting materials are available on the Alberta Health Services website.
If you have any questions, please contact Nutrition Services, Population and Public Health at PublicHealthNutrition@albertahealthservices.ca.