Brits facing 'health crisis' as cost of living emergency bites, warns charity boss

9 May 2022, 16:10

Britain facing 'health crisis' as cost-of-living emergency bites, warns charity boss
Britain facing 'health crisis' as cost-of-living emergency bites, warns charity boss. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By James Bickerton

Britain is facing a "health crisis" because of the rapidly increasing cost-of-living according to a leading charity boss.

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Anna Taylor is executive director at the Food Foundation, which has released a major new study into food insecurity in Britain.

It found over the past month some two million UK adults have gone without food for at least one day.

Ms Taylor told Shelagh Fogarty: "We were really shocked by the findings.

"The increase in food insecurity was much faster and steeper than we expected since our last survey in January.

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"I think what's really important to say about this is it's much more than an economic crisis, because if you're in a situation where you're struggling to put food on the table you're under extreme mental stress, it forces people to survive on the cheapest calories which in turn leads to health problems. 

"There's an economic challenge for households and a health challenge that immediately follows."

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Ms Taylor said many of those in poverty struggle to eat healthily, as it tends to be more expensive.

She explained: "If your money is really tight, the cheapest calories you can buy tend to be those that are least good for you, very low in other nurturance.

"They've got the money problem then they've got a food system problem, where the healthiest foods are not the most affordable."

The Food Foundation's survey concluded one-in-seven British adults are now food insecure.

This amounts to 7.3 million people, up 2.5 million on the figure in January.

Ms Taylor urged the Government and employers to make sure people have enough money to avoid food insecurity.

Asked about solutions she said: "The very obvious thing to do is to make sure wages and benefits allow people to pay for their essential bills."

Last week the Bank of England raised the UK's inflation rate to 1.0%, in a bid to tackle runaway inflation which is projected to hit 10% by the end of the year.

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