Measuring equity of access to healthy, affordable food
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Opportunities exist for health professionals to work with local government to promote nutrition and to impact on the food and nutrition system. Responsibilities of local government that impact on the food system include town planning, zoning, urban design, transport, infrastructure, recreation, information provision, cultural development, monitoring and enforcement of food regulations, and community services. Supermarkets are a key factor in determining the quality of food supply in a community (wider range of goods, lower retail prices). However, many people are unable to access large supermarkets as their primary food retail outlet. The key difficulties faced by those who rely on corner shops or general stores for their primary food supply are that the range of foods available is usually quite limited and the prices are often higher than in most supermarkets. This presentation will highlight the collaboration between researchers and local government to develop and pilot instruments to map: the variety of foods available; the main types of foods purchased; the knowledge and availability of healthy food choices; the fat content in foods displayed in the bay marie; and factors influencing the choice of foods available within a local community within the Perth metropolitan area.
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