Healthy eating is an important part of healthy living and provides us with energy to learn, work and play. However, only 38 per cent of Niagara residents aged 12 or older eats vegetables and fruit more than five times each day.
Eating a variety of foods from Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide can reduce the risk of:
Individuals with any of the above conditions may require medications, hospital stays, or time off work. This costs Niagara millions of dollars per year.
People living in poverty are more likely to get sick. These individuals struggle to afford prescription medications and services often taken for granted, such as dental care.
The Nutritious Food Basket is a tool that assesses the current costs of nutritious foods that families often buy, not including personal and household care items.
Registered Dietitians at Niagara Region Public Health have been collecting this information since 1998 and it's used to raise awareness about the cost of healthy eating and to assess the sustainability of social assistance and minimum wages.
The cost of healthy eating in 2016 for a family of four in the Niagara region is $219.34 per week. This is based on a mother and father (both aged 31 - 50), daughter (aged 4 - 8) and son (aged 14 - 18). On a monthly basis, this family would spend $949.74 on nutritious food.
The cost of healthy eating in Niagara has increased over five per cent from 2015.