Going hungry: the struggle to eat healthily on a low income

Document type
Corporate author(s)
NCH (Great Britain); Action for Children (Great Britain)
NCH Action for Children
Date of publication
1 May 2004
Children and Young People, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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Report exploring the complexities, causes and effects of food poverty and the difficulties of maintaining a healthy diet on a low income. The research consists of a regional survey of the costs of eating healthily and less healthily; 40 surveys of shopping baskets including healthy and unhealthy versions of basic items across the UK; a questionnaire survey of 55 families living on low incomes across Great Britain; and two focus groups with families on low incomes. It is found that healthier versions of basic foods are harder to find in local shops, compared to less healthy foods and when available, the healthier foods typically cost 15 per cent more than less healthy versions. Further, the research reveals that when available, a significantly higher price premium is paid for healthier food in the Midlands, North East and South East, compared to the South West, North West and Northern Ireland. The report calls for action nationally, regionally and locally to tackle the combination of factors responsible for the unhealthy diets of many children living in families on low incomes.

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