The BBC has reported on a UK study of 15,000 households' data which suggests that many young families cut back on fresh fruit and vegetables and switched to less healthy processed food as the recession squeezed budgets.{jcomments on}

It showed rising food prices and stagnating wages had led people to buy less food and choose cheaper products.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said pensioners, single parent households and families had the biggest drop in the nutritional quality of their diets.

Food campaigners expressed concern.

The Children's Food Trust said the move to processed food was a "huge worry".

The report's authors used food purchasing data from 15,850 British households from 2005 to 2012, enabling them to analyse the impact on spending of the recession.

They found that households spent 8.5% less on food in real terms across the period as disposable incomes failed to keep pace with rising food prices.

People also swapped the type of food they bought, shifting from fresh fruit and vegetables to "calorie dense" processed food, with a resulting increase in saturated fat and sugar content, the Food Expenditure and Nutritional Quality over the Great Recession report said.

This can only mean that those on benefits, whose income is far below a “living wage” will be cutting back in even more dramatic and health-damaging ways.

Read more on the report on the BBC website

Many thanks to Jim Allison for spotting this article for us



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