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Canada’s Food Guide Diet unaffordable in current economy

The stagnation of wages paired with the increase in food costs means many Canadians are struggling to eat healthy
produce section

According to a recent Angus Reid poll, rising food costs is leaving nearly half of all Canadian families concerned about affording the grocery list recommended by the Canada Food Guide diet, especially those in the low-income bracket.

Around 35 per cent of the population — nearly half in the low-income bracket — answered that it has become more difficult to feed their families, causing them to partake in cost-cutting measures.

Nine in ten families are reporting that they have switched to cheaper brands, and just over half have cut back on meat as well as fruits and vegetables. Three-quarters of families have chosen less healthy options because they are cheaper. 

Families are also reporting that they feel dairy has become less important in their daily diet, which follows the recent change in the Canada Food Guide listing dairy under the protein category rather than on its own. 

The dairy debate appears to be age-related: 50 per cent of the 18-34 age group says consuming less dairy is a positive diet choice, while 45 per cent of the 55+ age group considers it a negative diet choice.

Half of Canadians report that they try to eat healthy when they can, but four-in-ten Canadians also say that they would find it difficult to afford the diet recommended in the new Canada Food Guide that focuses on fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and various types of protein. 

Just under half of Canadians are now reporting that they feel the Food Guide is unlikely to be useful for them, personally.

More information in the survey can be found on Angus Reid's website