The Auckland research disproved a view that the cheap cost of fatty and sugary food was driving an obesity epidemic.
But this latest research, presented at an obesity conference in Auckland last week, revealed there was no difference in the weekly spends between the most and least healthy eaters.
Auckland nutritionist Rebecca Whiting, who led the study, said a person’s ethnicity and salary can have more influence on shopping habits than pricing.
“There are a number of factors that drive consumption, and the cost of food is only one – and it may not be as important as we think.
“Habit, preference, meal planning, time, taste, and the desire for family harmony all contribute to the types of food families buy and the meals they prepare.”
Cost has been used as an excuse for junk diets and obesity but this research shows the issue is far more complex than that.