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• The cost of the “healthy food basket ” (which feeds a family of six for two weeks) continues to be considerably higher in remote and very remote localities throughout Queensland. • In 2004 the mean cost of the “healthy food basket ” statewide was $395.28. • In 2004 the mean cost of the “healthy food basket ” was $113.89 higher in very remote stores in Queensland compared with the same basket in major cities stores. • From 2001 to 2004 the cost of the “healthy food basket ” has increased by almost $50 statewide. The increase over this same time period in the very remote localities was close to $77. • Consumers, particularly those in very remote locations, now need to pay substantially more for the basic foods required to support and maintain health. Conversely, some less nutritious foods, such as sweetened carbonated beverages, are now relatively more affordable. • Higher prices are a barrier to good health among people from lower socioeconomic status and other vulnerable groups throughout Queensland. • Further investigation into the causes and effects of the increasing cost of basic healthy food compared to less nutritious alternatives is recommended. • Regular monitoring at a national level could detect the impact of future changes on food cost. National monitoring, as part of a comprehensive nutrition surveillance system for Australia, could assist in future strategic planning, priority setting and resource investments

Year: 2004
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