By Georgianna Reilly, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer
This BBC article is a prime example of the impacts that the economy has on food consumption, and as a result health. Austerity in Britain is altering the eating habits of thousands, causing a decrease in consumption of food in general as well as healthy food and an increase in consumption of cheaper foods that are lower in nutritional value, and often higher in fats, salts and sugars. This will alter the health and further economy of the country, as citizens experience increased rate of food related illnesses (obesity, and diabetes for example) which could lead to a public health crisis which could further strain the health system and economy. As the article discusses:
“Detailed data compiled for the Guardian, which analysed the grocery buying habits of thousands of UK citizens, shows that consumption of fat, sugar and saturates has soared since 2010, particularly among the poorest households, despite the overall volume of food bought remaining almost static. Food experts and campaigners called for government action to address concerns the UK faces a sustained nutritional crisis triggered by food poverty, which is in turn storing up public health problems that threaten to widen inequalities between rich and poor households.”
This is a true example of economic inequality. As prices soar and wages fall the food and health disparity between the poor and rich will become a larger divide. Policy and political action is needed to cross this divide before it becomes too wide, and I am happy to see that British politicians are making it a priority. The USA is experiencing the same difficulties, so I can only hope that we start to take action as well!
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I’ve been to Britain. Seriously, they need to learn how to cook, first. Only the Indians there make anything palatable that doesn’t involve deep frying, lots of cheese and beer, or gravy.