Minimum income for healthy living
Objectives: We sought to estimate the costs of implementing the current recommendations for healthy choices for a mother with two young children in Atlanta, Georgia.
Methods: Current recommendations for healthy choices promoted by the federal government or other credible source were compiled and operationalized into specific conditions or behaviors. The costs of implementing these choices in Atlanta were estimated by using internet searches of retailers/suppliers, phone interviews, and direct observation. The least expensive option was chosen when options were available.
Results: Recommendations for choosing a healthy neighborhood, home, school, child care, food, physical activity, and maintaining healthy relationships as well as access to health care were considered. Total costs for this family of three totaled $38,181. Housing, child care, and health insurance contributed to 78% of the total costs.
Conclusions: The minimum income needed to choose healthy choices falls short of current wages, and eligibility levels and benefits for income support.
0630: Public policy