New Zealanders facing ‘food stress’

April 6th, 2011 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Wellington, April 6 (IANS) A growing number of people in New Zealand are turning distressed on failing to provide good quality food to their families.

At least 16 percent of the New Zealanders have reported feeling “food insecure”, TVNZ quoted Kristie Carter of Otago University’s public health department telling TV ONE.

She says people suffering from food insecurity are those who have used food banks or food grants in the last 12 months, forgone food to pay bills or regularly gone without fresh fruit and vegetables.

“It’s a lack of access to safe food … the study shows that this is a big problem,” said Carter based on a study which analysed 19,000 responses to questions about food over an eight year period.

She feels unsurprised by the findings following the rising cost of living since the price of milk, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables are all on the rise.

And, Carter says, this is what is leaving many families stressed.

“It sort of makes sense that if you can’t afford to feed your family you feel stressed,” she said, adding people suffering from food stress have feelings of hopelessness, nervousness, and sadness.

Young people, non-European ethnicities, multi-family homes and low income families are the most likely to feel insecure about food, says Carter, adding that women are affected more.

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