Food security refers to physical, social and economic access to nutritious food at all times, that meets a person’s nutrient requirements and food preferences. Food security is often categorised into pillars of food availability, access and utilisation. In contrast, food insecurity occurs when there is unreliable or irregular access to affordable, quality, nutritious food. Food insecurity is an important social policy problem, and high-income countries such as Australia are not immune to the issue. However, currently in Australia, there is a lack of comprehensive nationally representative data on the prevalence and severity of food insecurity among Australians, in addition to long term mental and physical health implications of food insecurity. Quality evaluation of government and community responses to food insecurity is also lacking.
Food environments have the potential to positively or negatively influence the availability and accessibility of food across communities and can in turn influence consumer purchasing and eating habits. Further evidence is required regarding the current capacity of and support required by local governments, to implement effective strategies to optimise population health.
Our food security and food environments research spans a wide range of topic areas and includes local, national and international research collaborations. Topics include:
For more information, contact Dr Stephanie Godrich.
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