Food Reference Budgets as a Potential Policy Tool to Address Food Insecurity: Lessons Learned from a Pilot Study in 26 European Countries

Elena Carrillo-Alvarez, Tess Penne, Hilde Boeckx, Berenice Storms, Tim Goedeme

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The aim of this article is to present the development of cross-country comparable food reference budgets in 26 European countries, and to discuss their usefulness as an addition to food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) for tackling food insecurity in low-income groups. Reference budgets are illustrative priced baskets containing the minimum goods and services necessary for well-described types of families to have an adequate social participation. This study was conducted starting from national FBDG, which were translated into monthly food baskets. Next, these baskets were validated in terms of their acceptability and feasibility through focus group discussions, and finally they were priced. Along the paper, we show how that food reference budgets hold interesting contributions to the promotion of healthy eating and prevention of food insecurity in low-income contexts in at least four ways: (1) they show how a healthy diet can be achieved with limited economic resources, (2) they bring closer to the citizen a detailed example of how to put FBDG recommendations into practice, (3) they ensure that food security is achieved in an integral way, by comprising the biological but also psychological and social functions of food, and (4) providing routes for further (comparative) research into food insecurity.
Idioma originalCastellà
Nombre de pàgines12
RevistaInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de gen. 2019

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