Proceedings of the Nutrition Society | VOL. 61

Food budget standards and dietary adequacy in low-income families

Publication Date Nov 1, 2002


Budget standards are specified baskets of goods and services which, when priced, can represent predefined living standards. ‘Low cost but acceptable’ (LCA) is a minimum income standard, adequate to provide warmth and shelter, a healthy and palatable diet, social necessities, social integration, avoidance of chronic stress and the maintenance of good health (physical, mental and social) in a context of free access to good-quality health care, good-quality education and social justice. The LCA food budget standard identifies a basket of foods and corresponding menus which provides (for a given household composition) a palatable diet that is consistent with prevailing cultural norms, and that satisfies existing criteria for health in relation to dietary reference values, food-based dietary guidelines and safe levels of alcohol consumption. Two previous studies that explored the relationship between diet and food expenditure in low-income households suggested that the amount spent on food was a good predictor of dietary adequacy, growth and health in children. The current paper will focus on diet and measures of deprivation in 250 low-income households in London. Households were screened for material deprivation (e.g. no car, no fixed line telephone, in receipt of Income Support) using a doorstep questionnaire. Diet was assessed using four 24 h recalls based on the ‘triple pass’ method. Expenditure on food and other aspects of household circumstances were assessed by face-to-face interview. Food expenditure in these households w...


Food Expenditure In Households Expenditure In Households Growth In Children Safe Levels Of Alcohol Consumption Triple Pass Measures Of Deprivation Receipt Of Income Support Food Expenditure Palatable Diet Dietary Adequacy

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