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Open Access Short paper

Improving perceptions of healthy food affordability: results from a pilot intervention

Lauren K Williams12*, Gavin Abbott1, Lukar E Thornton1, Anthony Worsley1, Kylie Ball1 and David Crawford1

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia

2 Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Flemington Road, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia

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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2014, 11:33  doi:10.1186/1479-5868-11-33

Published: 10 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Despite strong empirical support for the association between perceived food affordability and dietary intake amongst families with a lower socioeconomic position (SEP), there is limited evidence of the most effective strategies for promoting more positive perceptions of healthy food affordability among this group. This paper reports findings from a pilot intervention that aimed to improve perceptions of healthy food affordability amongst mothers.

Findings

Participants were 66 mothers who were the parents of children recruited from primary schools located in socioeconomically disadvantaged suburbs. Intervention group participants viewed a slideshow focussed on healthy snack food affordability that illustrated cheaper healthier alternatives to common snack foods as well as food budgeting tips and price comparison education. A mixed between-within ANCOVA was conducted to examine group differences in perceived affordability of healthy food across three time points. Results revealed no difference in perceived affordability of healthy food between the two groups at baseline whereas at post-intervention and follow-up, mothers in the intervention group perceived healthy food as more affordable than the control group.

Conclusions

Focussing on education-based interventions to improve perceptions of healthy food affordability may be a promising approach that complements existing nutrition promotion strategies.

Keywords:
Diet; Fruit and vegetable consumption; Mothers; Food affordability