Food poverty becoming a ‘health emergency'

  • Health experts believe that UK food poverty has become such a large problem that it should been seen as a "public health emergency".

    Through a letter in the British Medical Journal, six leading public health figures have warned that poor nutrition could lead to many different health problems. It has come after the UK Red Cross has started asking for food donations for the first time since World War Two.

    In October the Trussell Trust said that the number of people it was had tripled to 350,000 in the past year, reports the BBC.  Can With Opener

    The letter highlights that research shows the amount of money being spent on food by households has fallen by 8% in real terms over the past five years, and families with young children have been hit the hardest.

    In the letter it is warned that malnutrition can have lifelong effects on a person, which include an increased risk of cardiovascular disease alongside other chronic illnesses.

    Chris Mould, the executive chairman of Trussell Trust, said he wanted the government to set up an official inquiry because "these alarming developments point towards serious trouble for the nation in the years ahead unless urgent action is taken now".

    A government spokesman has said that "the benefits system supports millions of people who are on low incomes or unemployed and there is no robust evidence that welfare reforms are linked to increased use of food banks."

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    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/725159

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