Healthy Food Matters

Why Healthy Food Matters

Household food insecurity is not having enough food due to lack of money.

People in food insecure households have:

  • Poorer mental, oral and physical health
  • More stress and anxiety
  • Greater chances of having diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
  • More chance of being a high-cost user of health care

Who is most at risk?

  • Households with children under 18 led by a female lone parent
  • Households relying on social assistance
  • Indigenous households
  • People who rent

Why does the cost of food matter?

When money is tight, people are forced to cut into their food budget to pay for other living expenses. They skip meals, eat fewer vegetables and fruit, drink less milk, and fill up on non-nutritious foods because they are cheap. The result of this unhealthy diet is an increased risk of illness, and poor growth and development in children.

Why can’t people afford healthy food?

As the cost of living increases, incomes are not keeping up. Despite increases to social assistance, Ontarians earning minimum wage and those who receive social assistance do not earn enough money to ensure access to healthy food. After paying rent, they still have to pay for other needs such as heat, hydro, phone, transportation, child care, clothing, eye and dental care.

Want to Know More?