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New report shows inequity, obesity levels and affordability of healthy food are top priorities

The UK faces huge challenges to ensure affordability and access to a healthy and sustainable diet, as highlighted in the Broken Plate report published today by the Food Foundation, a member of the Sustain alliance.



The Broken Plate report argues that the National Food Strategy, due out in July 2021, needs to urgently address growing obesity levels, dietary inequality,and critically lowlevels of vegetables consumption in children and adults.

The report shows that the impact of our food system continues to be hugely unequal,with children from the poorest 10% of households being ten times more likely to be living with severe obesity than the richest 10%at age 11. It examines ten different areas and provides a ‘state of the nation’ view of how broken our current food system is.

Its main findings include:

  • In the most deprived local authorities, one in three places to buy food are fast food outlets. This compares with one in five in least deprived
  • Amputations due to Diabetes have increased by 24% in the past five years. There are almost 10,000 diabetes-related amputations carried out on average per year.
  • More healthy food is three times more expensive than less healthy food calorie for calorie. Foodshigh in sugar and fat are just 40% of the cost of fruit and veg per 1,000 calories.
  • The poorest fifth of UK households would have to spend 40% of their disposable income on food to meet the Governments Eatwell Guide compared to just 7% for the richest fifth of households.

The third in a series, this report uses ten metrics to provide a powerful picture of the current UK food system and the lack of progress made to improve food security, obesity levels and sustainability. It tracks UK progress in changing the food environment so that diets can transition towards more healthy and sustainable outcomes.The report is published ahead of the National Food Strategy led by Henry Dimbleby,which is expected to contain strong and urgent recommendations to government.

Anna Taylor, Executive Director at the Food Foundation said: “With the National Food Strategy just around the corner and the task of rebuilding post pandemic now underway, there has never been a more opportune time for the government and businesses to face the challenge of fixing our food environment head on. Bold action will be required if we are to safeguard the future health of our children-but is by no means impossible. This year’s Broken Platereport highlights that our current food environment is failing to deliver diets that are just, healthy or sustainable with this having very real health implications for millions of citizens.”

You can read the full report here

Published Wednesday 7 July 2021

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