Rising food prices forcing many Canadians to buy unhealthy options: survey

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Unhealthy eating

As food prices continue to rise, many Canadians are being forced into buying unhealthy options in order to save a few bucks, according to a survey from the Angus Reid Institute.

Fresh vegetables / Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: Price of fresh vegetables shoots up 26.2% in B.C.: Stats Can

Half of Canadians with a household income of less than $50,000 per year say they’ve had to choose unhealthy food to cut costs, while 47% of those ages 18 to 34 say the same. Two-fifths of Canadians overall are buying less healthy food to scrape by.

Beyond that, more than 70% have switched to cheaper brands to offset rising food prices, and 61% have cut back on meat.

Image: Angus Reid Institute

Image: Angus Reid Institute

Rising food prices are largely attributable to the low Canadian dollar and fruit and vegetable prices have risen especially high, with B.C. alone seeing a year-over-year increase of more than 26%, according to Statistics Canada. In fact, more than 80% of fruits, vegetables, and nuts sold in Canada have been affected by Canada’s weak dollar.

As a result, the cost of dining out is prohibitive to some Canadians whose wallets are feeling the burden of high grocery bills. More than 70% have cut back on eating out, while 67% spend less on entertainment.

Image: Angus Reid Institute

Image: Angus Reid Institute

Unsurprisingly, many Canadians feel the government is giving enough attention to the issue, especially if they’re having trouble feeding their families. Nearly 80% of Canadians in difficult-to-feed households say the issues deserves more attention from higher ups.

Image: Angus Reid Institute

Image: Angus Reid Institute

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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