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New Canada Food Guide unaffordable to many, new poll finds

Last Updated Apr 10, 2019 at 2:57 pm EDT

Vegetables are on display for sale at the Jean Talon Market on January 11, 2016 in Montreal. Food costs were up 1.3 per cent in October as food bought in restaurants gained 2.9 per cent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

An Angus Reid survey shows nearly half of the Canadians polled say it’s become more difficult to put food on the table over the last 12 months, and four-in-ten say adhering to the new Canada Food Guide makes paying their food bill even more challenging.

Respondents with household incomes under $50,000 are more likely to have chosen less healthy, cheaper options, or to have cut back on meat and vegetables as a response to their affordability woes.

Half of lower-income Canadians say it would be difficult for them to afford to eat a diet based on the new guide, which places greater emphasis on plant-based foods and less on meat as a source of protein.

More Key Findings: (Courtesy of Angus Reid)

  • Those who say they struggle to feed their households are twice as likely to say the Food Guide diet would be somewhat difficult (40% to 20%), and five times as likely (24% to 5%) to say it would be very difficult to afford, compared to those who say it is easy to feed their household
  • Canadians are divided about diets. Half (48%) say it is easy to eat healthy if they try, while half (48%) say that even if they try, this is not easy to accomplish
  • Further, six-in-ten Canadians (61%) say they have a hard time keeping track of what is healthy with changing diet trends. This response is most common among those ages 55 and older (68%)