As Canadians experience higher food prices, they may be tempted to skimp on key nutrients in order to save money. new report suggests this could have long-term health consequences.
The report, released by the non-profit group Food Banks Canada, looked at the self-reported health of people who use food banks.
Almost half of respondents said they had cut back on the amount or quality of food they ate in the previous month because they couldn’t afford it.
And almost a third said they had skipped meals altogether.
The report’s authors say these numbers are a cause for concern because previous research has shown that food insecurity is linked to poorer health.
“We know from other studies that when people cut back on food, their health suffers,” said report co-author Marlene Kurdock.
“What we wanted to do with this report is really shine a light on how food bank users are being impacted in terms of their health.”
The report notes that the health consequences of food insecurity can be both immediate and long-term.
In the short-term, not getting enough to eat can lead to higher levels of stress, which can in turn lead to increased risk of illness.
In the long-term, chronic food insecurity has been linked to a host of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
The report’s authors say the findings highlight the need for government programs that help low-income Canadians afford healthy food.
They also say the findings should be a wake-up call for Canadians who take their access to food for granted.
“For many of us, food is something that we don’t have to think about very much,” Kurdock said.
“But for people who are struggling to make ends meet, food is often one of the first things they cut back on. And as this report shows, that can have serious consequences for their health.”
High food prices could have negative long-term health effects on Canadians, according to a new report.
The report, released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), found that food insecurity is linked to a number of health problems, including chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Food insecurity is defined as the inability to access nutritious food in sufficient quantities to meet basic needs.
According to the CIHI report, nearly one in four households in Canada (23%) are food insecure. This means that they are struggling to afford nutritious food.
The report found that food insecurity is more common among households with low incomes, single-parent households, Indigenous households, and households headed by someone with a disability.
The report also found that food insecurity is linked to a number of health problems, including:
• increased risk of diabetes
• increased risk of heart disease
• increased risk of mental health problems
• increased risk of obesity
• increased risk of cancer
The report’s authors say that the findings highlight the need for policies and programs to address food insecurity in Canada.
They also say that the findings underscore the importance of addressing the underlying causes of food insecurity, such as poverty and lack of affordable housing.