Abstract: Australian and overseas studies have found that respondents in low socioeconomic groups are least likely to purchase food that accords with recommendations in dietary guidelines. British and United States researchers have proposed that this consistently observed association is partly due to structural, material and economic factors that differentially affect socioeconomic groups. This study tested that proposition. Specifically, this study examined the notion that socioeconomic variability in food‐purchasing choices are in part a function of the availability, accessibility and affordability of food recommended by dietary guidelines. Data collected from socioeconomic groups in the general community, and information provided by welfare recipients living in low‐income areas of Brisbane and Logan city provided little support for this notion. Although significant differences were found between socioeconomic groups in terms of their food‐purchasing choices, most respondents from all socioeconomic groups shopped at large supermarkets where recommended food was readily available, few reported difficulties obtaining access to these facilities, and the price difference between recommended and regular foods was, in most cases, small or nonexistent. This evidence leaves largely unanswered the question of why socioeconomic groups differ in their food‐purchasing behaviours.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1996
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