Shrinking wallets producing expanding waistlines

WITH FOOD prices on the rise and the UK in tough economic times, consumers have turned to low cost, processed foods, according to a new study.


Britain’s Changing Diet in Difficult Times, compiled by Waste Watch, shows how this changing diet is “seriously damaging” the health of the nation – and the planet.


The report compares the eating habits and purchasing trends from 2004-07 and 2007-10, showing that fruit consumption was rising, but is now in decline while consumption of food and drinks that are high in fat or sugar remains the same – that is, above recommended levels. People are buying less carcass meat, and looking more towards processed meat.


The report suggest that many of the UK’s more deprived households are now only eating only half of their recommended daily allowance of five-a-day fruit and vegetables.


On the positive side, there has been a decline in the waste produced by households.


The report lists a number of policy recommendations, including a review of current food policy and the introduction of sustainable diets.


The report’s author and head of Waste Watch Tim Burns called on government to create a food strategy that addresses both health and environmental concerns while making the UK food system more resilient to external shocks.


“There is currently no one taking the lead when it comes to food policy in this country. This country can no longer afford to look at these things in isolation and what is need is a joined-up approach.”


Earlier this month the Government launched its Green Food Project, which will seek to make “the whole food chain as sustainable as possible”.