Food insecurity is the method that helps to measure the food deprivation. In Australia, the food insecurity is increasing that contributes to understanding the food accessibility, utilization, stability, and availability. The people of Australia face the growth of hunger, health inequalities and health risks (Guerin 2016). People need to have the enough amount of nutritious food that can help to secure the health status of individuals. People who susceptible to the food insecurity, are unemployed people, low- income people, single parents, young people and the rental households. The study focuses on the issues of the food security in Australia. The discussion shed lights on the impact of food insecurity on the health status of people. The challenges of the food insecurity are discussed.
Food insecurity is prevalent in most of the third world nations of the particular group of people as well as in the developed countries like Australia. According to Hertel and Baldos (2016), food access refers to the capacity of acquiring and consuming the nutritious diet. This can include the capability to buy the foods as well as transportation of food. This can help people to gain knowledge to know about the quality of food. Food availability is the food supply in the community, which affect the food security of different people such as individual, community, households and the entire population. People need to know the location of the food outlets, quality, expense, variety and availability of foods. As opined by Auler, Teixeira and Nardi (2017) the food must be nutritionally balanced that is the food must contain an adequate amount of carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. MacCallion (2016) mentioned that food insecurity does not always mean the hunger.
Figure 1: Per Capita food losses and waste
(Source: Globaleducation.edu.au. 2017)
Food insecurity has the significant impact on the health status of people. People need to consume optimal food for their health safety. Food insecurity may increase the anxiety among people; hence, it is necessary to use the food appropriately (Grafton 2016). Improper use of the food can lead to the poor nutrition quality and extreme hunger. According to the survey of Australian National Nutritional Survey of 1995, particular group of people are at the high risk of food insecurity (YouTube. 2016). Indigenous people are the high risk (24 %). The rate of unemployed people is 23%, single parent household is 23 %. The rate of low- income individuals and rental household people is 20 % respectively. Young people are of 15 %. Other people, who are at the risk of food insecurity, are specific groups like refugee, who are unable to access the transport system, who misuse tobacco and alcohol, as well as the disable people (McLean 2017).
Some people face barriers to access the food such as lack of transportation, disability, lack of money. Poor quality food is a significant obstacle in case of the food security. People, who have the low income and the people of remote areas suffer from the food insecurity the most due to the poor quality of food stuff (YouTube. 2016). They mainly suffer from the health issues as they do not get proper nutrition. Food needs to be prepared according to the food safety guidelines. However, many of people in Australia are not aware about the food safety and food hygiene. People of low income prefer the foods of cheap quality that is enriched with the lower quality of food staffs like oil, butter, salt and others (Rosier 2011). This is harmful for health and can create serious health issues like obesity, central nervous system, cardiac problem, and hypertension. Few people misuse the alcohol and tobacco; as a result they spend money on those things and cannot buy proper food to be healthy (Grafton 2016).
Food insecurity mainly affects the children and older people as they are the vulnerable group. As mentioned by Hertel and Baldos (2016), food security is one of the significant social determinants of the health. It can affect the academic life of students. Due to insufficient food, the body may not get adequate amount of energy and brain use the carbohydrate as the fuel of body. If people do not have energy then it is quite impossible to concentrate in the works and achieve the goal. Children may suffer from protein energy malnutrition due to the food insecurity (Globaleducation.edu.au, 2017). Food insecurity can increase the mortality and morbidity rate of people in Australia. For the good health status, not only regular meals but also nutritional food play important role. People need to maintain the food security while preparing, handling, storing of food so that the food borne disease can be avoided as well as the food insecurity.
Figure 2: Productivity growth for agricultural industries
(Source: McLean 2017)
People need to take at least five meals per day, which needs to be enriched with the foods from each of the five groups. These groups are cereals, pulse and legumes, dairy products including fat, vegetables and fruits, and proteins like lean meat, fish, and soya bean (MacCallion 2016). People mainly skip their meals, which is not a good practice and increases the chances of the obesity and various chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, renal dysfunction and others. However, Guerin (2016) argued that the nutritious food is much expensive than the unhealthy foods; hence, the low income people prefers the unhealthy foods more than healthy foods. For the wellbeing of the people of Australia, food security is essential. The unhealthy food is rich in calorie, fat and unhygienic elements. Hence, the situation needs to be developed. Food security is the condition that has relations with the food supply, and accessibility (Timmer 2017). Due to food insecurity the growth of the children becomes stunted as well as mental development hampers. Proper nutritional education is necessary for the food security so that people can be aware about it. Especially the people at the high risk needs the education on food security and should know about the foods that are nutritious but pocket friendly.
Figure 3: Basic Framework for Understanding Food Security Issues
(Source: Timmer 2017)
The food supplying organizations need to be aware about the food safety and food hygiene to avoid the dangerous diseases like cancer (Islam and Wong 2017). People need to know the appropriate procedure of the food security that is the way to handle food, preparing method, and storing method. For the education, the government can choose people from different region and can train them so that they are able to provide education to others in their own language. People need to prefer fresh foods in meal that is essential for the body. Government can implement different policies to reduce the food insecurity and make people aware about the food security (Guerin 2016). The government of Australia can make national food plan for the people who are at the risk and balance the food safety and food availability levels. The policies need to be implemented in the remote areas mainly, where the people have transport problem and cannot access food.
In view of Islam and Wong (2017), the government can arrange the food security program to address the issues of the food insecurity and this can help people. One of the most effective programs is the community kitchen pilot project, which can help people to improve the food security via gaining knowledge of food. Food knowledge can help people to choose the food of daily life in affordable price. The participants of the program can be of different age group, community and gender without discrimination (Timmer 2017). To make the program successful, the group members need to be involved in the financial investment and attract people for their active participation. The organizer of the programs can arrange training and workshops for the participants so that they can avoid the food insecurity and improve the cooking skills with the nutritional knowledge. This can develop the food safety as well as the hygiene practices. The program can develop the community strength. The food security will allow the participants to develop the mental health as well as the physical health. The low cost food diet charts can be provided to the participants so that they may have the idea about the low cost food (Globaleducation.edu.au. 2017).
Based on the above discussion, it can be said that due to food insecurity the growth of the children becomes stunted as well as mental development hampers. People, who have the low income and the people of remote areas suffer from the food insecurity the most due to the poor quality of food stuff. People need to know about the location of the food outlets, quality, expense, variety and availability of foods. The government of Australia can make national food plan for the people who are at the risk and balance the food safety and food availability levels. his can help people to gain knowledge to know about the quality of food. Proper nutritional education is necessary for the food security so that people can be aware about it. The food security will allow the participants to develop the mental health as well as the physical health
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