According to the Food Foundation, “the diets of typical British families now pose the greatest threat to their health and survival.” This threat is not spread equally among us. It is, as Henry Dimbleby writes in his introduction to the National Food Strategy: Part 1, “a peculiarity of the modern food system that the poorest sectors of society are more likely to suffer from both hunger and obesity."
The problem is not that the UK is poor and cannot afford healthy food, but that we have created an unequal and unfair food system, with levels of inequality growing wider in both health and income . It is shocking that the fifth largest economy in the world has some of the highest rates of food insecurity (those living in households unable to provide three meals a day) in Europe, while:
We might all wish to make better food choices, but the food environment – created through decisions from Government, retailers, producers, advertisers and others – “does not yet frame or push us to do so”. Whether it is those in the Government’s Behavioural Insights Team, the Food Citizenship Project or the team at the World Resources Institute’s Better Buying Lab, experts are clear that governments need to do more in clawing back consumer spaces for people.