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One-in-four Victorian families have turned to junk food in lockdown

Article image for One-in-four Victorian families have turned to junk food in lockdown

One-in-four Victorian families have been forced to turn to unhealthy foods during lockdown, amid high fruit and vegetable prices and the pandemic downturn.

A VicHealth survey found budget pressures forced a quarter of households to eat unhealthily in the state’s first lockdown.

Worryingly, one-in-three single parent households were running out of food during lockdown and could not afford to buy more.

VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio said several pressures drove up fresh food prices earlier this year and the problem has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 downturn.

“We’ve seen a significant increase,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“There are multiple factors at play here but we did see a significant increase in prices of healthy foods, fresh fruit and vegetables across the first couple of months of the year with the bushfires and also ongoing droughts across Victoria.

“Then, of course, the early stages of the pandemic we saw panic buying, which really saw a spike in the prices of particularly fruit and vegetables, again.”

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