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Food hardship prevalent in kiwi kid’s early years

Nearly half of families struggle to access healthy food in the child’s first year of life, a New Zealand study shows.

The study was carried out in Wellington by The University of Auckland and The University of Otago to explore food hardship using information from the Growing up in NZ longitudinal study.

Lead researcher Dr Sarah Gerritsen reports that the aim of the study was to investigate if food hardship affected the quality of nutrition children received.

Three types of hardship were investigated:

  • Being forced to buy cheaper food to pay for other things the family needed.
  • Had gone without fresh fruit and vegetables because of cost
  • Used special food grants and food banks in the past 12 months

The study team looked at the link between these three types of food hardship and its impact on children’s nutrition in terms of the duration of breastfeeding, fruit and vegetable intake and the consumption of unhealthy foods and drinks.

The results of this study are concerning.

Find out who is most at risk, what impact this hardship had on the food intake of families and how has Covid-19 contributed to the outcomes?

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