The association of cost and diet quality of children in Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Bukambu, Enid K
  • Healthy diets help reduce risk for chronic disease (obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and several cancers). High consumption of non-nutrient dense foods (e.g., sugar-sweetened foods, processed meats, and high fat foods) and low consumption of healthier foods (e.g., vegetables, fruit, and whole grains) may contribute to increasing chronic disease rates amongst Canadians. One potential reason for unhealthy dietary choice could be a price disadvantage of healthy foods. The purposes of this thesis are: (1) to assess the daily costs of diets consumed by grade 5 students in Alberta, Canada by using grocery store prices; (2) to examine the association between the daily cost of diets and diet quality among the same population when diet quality is assessed using Diet Quality Index (DQI) and four food groups in Canada’s Food Guide (CFG). These objectives were addressed using population based data collected in 2014 with the Raising Healthy Eating and Active Living Kids in Alberta surveys. The results revealed the average daily dietary cost of a child per 2000kcal and the average daily dietary cost of a child for each of the food categories in the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). The average daily cost of children’s diets was estimated to be CAD 13.19. This was CAD 12.12, 13.27 and 13.51 for students with poor, moderate and high diet quality respectively. The analysis further showed that there was significant association of increasing cost of diet with DQI. For every one-unit increase in DQI, the cost of the diet increased by seven cents. Based on CFG’s recommendations, there was no significant association of cost of diet with grain products. Fruits and vegetables, milk and alternatives and meat and alternatives showed significant positive association with the cost of diet. The results suggest that reducing price of healthier diets should not be the only priority as a strategy to encourage healthy eating. Public health policies that reduce the cost of healthful diets, as well as education of shopping and food preparation methods that may help reduce dietary costs should be enforced to reduce the perception that consumption of a healthful diet increases daily costs of diets.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Health Policy Research
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Jessica Lieffers (School of Public Health)
    • Professor Paul Veugelers (School of Public Health)