By definition, people living in more deprived circumstances or on low incomes are at risk of food poverty. Recent reports published by the Greater London Authority (GLA) confirm the strong links in London between food insecurity and low incomes, changes to the welfare and benefits system, housing costs and food price fluctuations. 5 High levels of relative deprivation in Hackney and parts of the City, along with trends in the local housing market, suggest that these patterns will also be playing out locally. For further information see the ‘Living standards’ and the ‘Housing and homelessness’ sections of this JSNA chapter.

Recent research by the Food Foundation found that families in the UK on ‘average’ incomes (earning between £37,000 and £52,000 a year) spend nearly one fifth of their income on food and that healthier foods are three times more expensive than ‘unhealthy’ food. 6

It is more common for low and middle-income families to consume too much sugar, salt, saturated fat, red meat and processed meats compared to higher-income families. 7  In another study, young people living in the most deprived areas were least likely to have consumed five or more portions of fruit and vegetables the previous day (51%) and those living in the least deprived areas were most likely to have done so (56%). 8

In the 2015 Hackney health and wellbeing survey, respondents living in more deprived neighbourhoods were more likely to report eating takeaway food at least once a week than those living in more affluent neighbourhoods – 43% of residents living in areas defined as ‘Urban Adversity’ compared with 33% of those living in ‘Rising Prosperity’ areas.B  In contrast, respondents living in more affluent neighbourhoods were more likely to say they eat out at a restaurant at least once a week – 40% of those living in ‘Rising Prosperity’ areas, compared with 26% in ‘Urban Adversity’ areas.

Notes

  1. Defined using ACORN demographics classifications –  http://acorn.caci.co.uk 
  2. Defined using ACORN demographics classifications –  http://acorn.caci.co.uk 

References

  1. Ipsos MORI for Greater London Authority, “Child Hunger in London. Understanding food poverty in the Capital,” 2016
  2. The Food Foundation, “Force-Fed. Does the food system constrict healthy choices for typical British families?,” 2016.
  3. The Food Foundation, “Force-Fed. Does the food system constrict healthy choices for typical British families?,” 2016.
  4. NHS Digital, “Health and Wellbeing of 15-year-olds in England – Main findings from the What About YOUth? Survey 2014,” 2014
  5. Ipsos MORI for Greater London Authority, “Child Hunger in London. Understanding food poverty in the Capital,” 2016
  6. The Food Foundation, “Force-Fed. Does the food system constrict healthy choices for typical British families?,” 2016.
  7. The Food Foundation, “Force-Fed. Does the food system constrict healthy choices for typical British families?,” 2016.
  8. NHS Digital, “Health and Wellbeing of 15-year-olds in England – Main findings from the What About YOUth? Survey 2014,” 2014