Cost of living and food price increases are leaving families without access to a healthy and affordable diet
By:London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
There has been a rapid 57% jump in the proportion of households cutting back on food or missing meals altogether in just three months, according to new data published by The Food Foundation.
There was also a sharp increase in the proportion of households with children experiencing food insecurity in the past month at 17.2% up from 12.1% in January 2022. This represents a total of 2.6 million children aged under 18 who live in households that do not have access to a healthy and affordable diet, putting them at high risk of suffering from diet-related diseases.
Soaring food prices (up 5.9% in the past 12 months) are making it increasingly difficult for families to afford the food they need. There is also concern that prices of ‘budget’ ranges of staple foods may have increased at a faster rate, so the impact on low-income families may be worse. The increasing cost of living and rising food prices are likely to mean that people become more reliant on lower cost foods which tend to be calorie-dense and nutrient-poor, further increasing obesity and other diet-related diseases. Reducing food insecurity is essential if the Government is to achieve its Leveling Up mission to improve healthy life expectancy and reduce health disparities.