A shocking new report has discovered that nearly four million children in the UK are too poor to have access to a healthy diet.
The report, by the Food Foundation, calculated that a family of four needs to spend over £103 to ensure they have a healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals and other essential food stuffs.
Sadly, around 3.7 million children come from households who earn under £16k a year, which means they are unlikely to be able to afford a healthy diet.
These struggling families would have to spend over 40% of their entire income to hit the government’s nutrition guidelines.
Widening inequality is leading to higher rates of childhood obesity in deprived areas. Now over a quarter (26%) of children in Year 6 are classed as obese compared to only 11% in more affluent places.
Sharon Hodgson MP, Chair of the Children’s Future Food Inquiry committee, said: “It cannot be right that 50% of households in the UK currently have insufficient food budgets to meet the Government’s recommended Eatwell Guide. A healthy diet, which we know is important for our health and development, should not be unaffordable to so many people.
“I hope that the Government will look into this issue as a matter of urgency, in order to make eating a healthy diet more affordable.”
Anna Taylor, executive director of the Food Foundation, said: “It’s crucial that a coordinated cross-government effort develops policy that accounts for the cost of its recommended diet, and creates a food system that does not consign those on lower incomes to the risk of diet-related illness.”