Food Security

This measure relates to:
Te OrangaMaurioraWaioraToioraNga ManukuraTe Mana Whakahaere
"I believe that we are fortunate to be a country able to support such a wonderful food basket, but in saying that I feel that the basic food items are so expensive, how can a bottle of coke be less expensive that the same size bottle of milk."  [City Health Profile participant]

Food security in developed countries like New Zealand can be defined as reliable access to nutritionally adequate, safe, and personally acceptable foods.  People who rely on cheap "filler" foods lacking in nutrients and high in fat and salt are at increased risk of overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.  Poor nutrition in children is particularly damaging for their development.

Food insecurity affects households on low incomes and sometimes also those with high accommodation costs or where there has been sudden illness or loss of employment.  The 1997 National Nutrition Survey found that 14% of people lived in households where food sometimes or often ran out because of lack of money. This figure is still considered to be a reasonable estimate of food insecurity rates.  In the last few years, the food price index has increased at a greater rate than median household income, meaning food is becoming less affordable.

Read the full issue summary on food security [PDF].

"Encouragement for community gardens... Access to locally grown fresh produce would be great"  [City Health Profile participant]