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Bulk of world’s citizens feel burden of rising roof and energy costs

A recent poll of people from 26 countries indicate the majority are changing their driving and eating habits in response to rising food and energy prices. 

October 16, 2008  By Canadian Press/Brandon Sun

October 16, 2008

Toronto, Ontario – The weight of rising food and energy costs is bearing down heavily on a significant segment of the global population, hitting them hard at the pumps and dinner table, according to a new poll.

But in terms of the impact of higher food prices, Canada appeared to fare better than most of the other 25 countries participating in the poll, commissioned by the British Broadcasting Corporation World Service.


Findings released Wednesday reveal that with the exception of China, a majority of those surveyed in each country reported being negatively affected by rising costs of food, fuel and electricity costs. Sixty per cent of people said they have been affected "a great deal" by high food and energy prices.

Not surprisingly, Canada along with other developed nations including Australia, Germany and the U.K., registered comparatively low percentages among those who said rising food costs had affected them.

Among Canadians surveyed, 27 percent said they were affected "a great deal" – the smallest percentage of all the countries.

Meanwhile, those in developing nations were among the hardest hit, with many even reporting cutting back on what they eat because of high food costs. Some 63 percent in the Philippines and Panama and 61 percent in Kenya reported eating less.

What's more, nearly half of those polled said higher costs of food were causing them to change their diet, which again was most significant in developing countries.

Seventy-one percent in Panama, 67 percent in Egypt and 64 percent in Kenya said they had changed what they eat. Only 24 percent of Canadians who were surveyed said they had eaten less overall, and 36 percent reported changing what they eat.

The surveys were mainly conducted in July and August, a period when commodity prices weren't rising any more, but ripple effects were still being felt in households because of higher food prices in the different countries, said Doug Miller, chairman of GlobeScan Incorporated in London.

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