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What is food poverty?

‘Food poverty is worse diet, worse access, worse health, higher percentage of income on food and less choice from a restricted range of foods.  Above all food poverty is about less or almost no consumption of fruit & vegetables’
Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University.
Food poverty can be defined as the inability to obtain healthy affordable food.  This may be because people lack shops in their area or have trouble reaching them.  Other factors influencing food access are the availability of a range of healthy goods in local shops, income, transport, fear of crime, knowledge about what constitutes a healthy diet, and the skills to create healthy meals.

Due to this complex mix of factors, people on low incomes have the lowest intakes of fruit and vegetables and are far more likely to suffer from diet-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and coronary heart disease.  Food poverty can also be about an overabundance of “junk” food as well as a lack of healthy food.

Find out more 

What leads to food poverty?
Who is affected by food poverty?
Where does food poverty exist?
What are the consequences of food poverty?
How can we tackle food poverty?


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