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Dietitians of Canada calls for action as rates of household food insecurity continue to climb

bigstock-Calgary-Alberta-Canada-July-377314279.jpgDietitians of Canada is alarmed that household food insecurity in Canada is at an all-time high. New data from the Canadian Income Survey shows that nearly 23% of individuals living across the ten Canadian provinces experienced household food insecurity in 2022.[1] This is an increase of 1.8 million people from the previous year and is the second increase in as many years.
This means that 8.7 million people, including 2.1 million children, lived in a household that did not have enough money to buy food.[2]

Although rates of marginal household food insecurity remained unchanged, rates of moderate and severe food insecurity both increased. This is most concerning because households experiencing moderate food insecurity are forced to compromise on the quality and quantity of food to make it last longer, while those experiencing severe food insecurity skip meals or go whole days without eating because they do not have enough money to buy more food.[3]
In its 2024 Position Statement on Household Food Insecurity,[4] Dietitians of Canada describes how household food insecurity is a significant, serious, and avoidable public health issue that has profound impacts on the mental and physical health of individuals and strains the healthcare system. Moreover, it disproportionately affects households that are lower income, Indigenous, racialized, or headed by single female parents.
Economic policies that ensure adequate household income are essential to reduce food insecurity.
Dietitians of Canada strongly urges decision makers to:
  • Develop and implement progressive economic policies that increase household income, such as a basic income guarantee
  • Strengthen existing tax credits, transfer payments to individuals, and other economic policies
  • Apply a health equity approach to address the unfair and unjust burden of household food insecurity based on sociodemographic factors
To learn more about how to address household food insecurity and the role of dietitians in addressing its causes and consequences, read Dietitians of Canada’s position statement.
[1] Statistics Canada. Canadian Income Survey, 2022. Ottawa (ON): Government of Canada; 2024 Apr 26.
[2] PROOF. New data on household food insecurity in 2023. Toronto (ON): Research to identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF); 2024 Apr 26.
[3] Li T, Fafard St-Germain A, Tarasuk V. Household food insecurity in Canada, 2022. Toronto (ON): Research to identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF); 2023 Nov 19.
[4] Dietitians of Canada. Dietitians of Canada Position Statement on Household Food Insecurity in Canada. Toronto (ON): Dietitians of Canada. 2024 Mar.
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