(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Austerity Britain is experiencing a nutritional recession, with rising food prices and shrinking incomes driving up consumption of fatty foods, reducing the amount of fruit and vegetables, and condemning people on the lowest incomes to an increasingly unhealthy diet, according to the UK daily (The Guardian).
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.
The data show consumption of high-fat and processed foods such as instant noodles, coated chicken, meat balls, tinned pies, baked beans, pizza and fried food has grown among households with an income of less than 25,000 Pounds a year as hard-pressed consumers increasingly choose products perceived to be cheaper and more "filling".
Over the same period, fruit and vegetable consumption has dropped in all but the most well-off UK households, and most starkly among the poorest consumers, according to the data.
Data for the Guardian's Breadline Britain investigation was collected by the consumer analyst Kantar Worldpanel, which operates a panel of 30,000 UK households across all income categories. The participating households electronically scan every grocery item they buy each week, enabling Kantar Worldpanel to build up a detailed, constantly updated picture of food purchasing habits.