A professor of nutrition says New Zealanders will pay a high price in terms of their health for cheaper junk food.
The latest Food Price Index shows food prices fell 0.3 percent in March. However, the fall was mainly driven by cheaper snacks, biscuits and sweets. Meat and vegetables were more expensive.
Otago University professor of nutrition Jim Mann said junk food is cheap and getting cheaper, and provides a convenient way for people to fill up.
Professor Mann said Government controls on companies and advertising are needed otherwise people will continue to get more unhealthy.
The Child Poverty Action Group said families under financial strain usually cut back on food first.
The Federation of Family Budgeting Services also said family food budgets are usually the first to be cut.
Chief executive Raewyn Fox said budgeting can do only so much when there's not enough money for the essentials.