Poor diet is a leading cause of disease burden in Australia and globally. Adults and children who experience greater socioeconomic disadvantage, whether from a lower income, education or from living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods, are more likely to consume poorer diets. Population-wide, or “Universal” policies are designed to affect all people regardless of risk or circumstances. These types of policies have the potential to influence overall population diets and health and also health inequalities. However, health equity effects depend on an impact for higher risk population subgroups in proportion to need.
In this presentation I will discuss our research examining the health equity impact of key population food policies. With a focus on price manipulation for healthy eating, I will draw on a range of epidemiological studies to present evidence on how actions can be taken to rebalance the price of foods towards healthier options, thereby improving population health and health inequities.