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Within: Food Poverty

Related to: Barriers to Healthy Eating – Physical FactorsBarriers to Healthy Eating – Financial FactorsDiet and Malnutrition, Socio-economic Inequality, Cost of Living, Child Poverty, Children and Young People, Eating Disorders, Life Expectancy, Healthy Weight, Physical Activity, Wellbeing, Diabetes Stroke, Coronary Heart Disease, Cancer

Key Facts

  • Evidence suggests that low educational attainment is a risk factor for eating less fruit and vegetables.
  • Living alone is associated with lower nutrient intake and unhealthy dietary patterns, particularly amongst men.
  • Research suggests that people from low-income backgrounds often have poor cooking facilities and lower confidence in their ability to cook from scratch.
  • The effect of unhealthy food marketing and advertising has been shown to have a strong influence on food choices and consumption.

A range of social factors are linked to dietary intake including educational attainment, employment status, living alone, prior knowledge of healthy foods, cultural norms and food marketing and advertising. 1 2

What does the day say?

Educational attainment

UK evidence suggests that low educational attainment is  a risk factor for eating less fruit and vegetables 3 4 and lower nutrient intake. 5

Living alone

Similarly living alone is associated with lower nutrient intake and unhealthy dietary patterns particularly amongst men, although this association can vary among socioeconomic groups. 6 

Social exclusion, which arises as result of unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime, and family breakdown can also result in food poverty. 7 8  

Low-income

Research also suggests that people from low-income backgrounds often have poor cooking facilities and lower confidence in their ability to cook from scratch 9 10

Marketing and advertising

Furthermore the effect of unhealthy food marketing and advertising has been shown to have a strong influence on food choices and consumption. 11

Are we meeting the needs?

B&NES Local Food Partnership

A multi-agency Local Food Partnership has been set up by Bath and North East Somerset Council to oversee the implementation of the Bath and North East Somerset Local Food Strategy and to co-ordinate action on food issues across the Council and the district.

B&NES Council and partners are delivering a number of interventions to increase the consumption of healthy, nutritious and affordable food:

Food in educational settings and uptake of free school meals

Bath and North East Somerset Council have put in place a Food Forum to support all aspects of food in schools, colleges and early year settings including initiatives to support the provision of free school meals for infants, to provide healthier diets for children and to support the provision of food education and activities. The Food Forum provides a package of support for the roll out of Universal Infants Free School Meals (UIFM) and to increase overall school meal uptake. Average school meal uptake has increased from 40% in 2013 to 59.75% in 2015 and there is an average 70% UIFSM uptake across Bath and North East Somerset.

12

The Food Forum supports the provision of healthier food for children by supporting educational settings to implement the school food standards and to sign up and work towards the healthy eating requirements of the Director of Public Health Award (DPHA). In B&NES 25 schools currently hold the DPHA “healthy schools certificate” and 37 have achieved it since the award programme began in 2012 (47%) 13 A further 11 schools and the FE college have chosen healthy eating as a focus for their work towards the “healthy outcomes certificate” choosing activities such as increasing the number of children eating school meals, and providing cooking and food growing education in school. 14Academies do not have to enforce the statutory school food standards however they are being supported to sign up voluntarily to the standard.

Cook it Service

B&NES Council commissions the Cook it project as part of the healthy lifestyle service; a free practical cooking course for parents, carers and pregnant women to  improve the diets of families, children and young people. The programme aims to improve cooking skills and confidence in the kitchen by running 6-week cookery courses with a focus on affordable, quick and nutritious meals that can be prepared on a budget.  Courses are held in children centres and target those at greatest risk of health inequalities. In addition, Sirona’s health improvement team have developed a horticultural initiative “Grow it 4 cook it” to provide users with opportunities to develop growing skills and to grow produce for use in “cook it” courses. In years 2015/2016 the service worked with a minimum of 150 families.  15

For other interventions see Barriers to Healthy Eating – Financial Factors and Barriers to Healthy Eating – Physical Factors

  • 1. Maslen, C., Raffle, A., Marriott, S., Smith, N. (2013) Food Poverty: What does the evidence tell us? Food poverty report July 2013. (Online) http://bristolfoodpolicycouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Food-Poverty-Report-July-2013-for-publication.pdf (Accessed 16th June 2016)
  • 2. Chenhall (2010) Improving cooking and food preparation skills; A synthesis of the evidence to inform program and policy development. Government of Canada (Online) http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/child-enfant/cfps-acc-synthes-eng.php  (Accessed 16th June 2016)
  • 3. Barker, M., Lawrence, W., Crozier, S., Robinson, S., Baird, j., Margetts, B., Cooper, C. (2009) Educational attainment; perceived control and the quality of women’s diets. Appetite; 52 631 – 6.
  • 4. Barker, M., Lawrence, W., Woadeen, j., Crozier, S and Skinner T. (2008) Women of lower educational attainment have lower food involvement and eat less fruit and vegetables. Appetite 50 464 – 468.
  • 5. Robinson, S., Crozier, S., Borland, S. et al., (2004) Impact of educational attainment on the quality of young women’s diets. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 58 117 – 1180.
  • 6. Hanna, K and Collins, P. (2015) Relationship between living alone and food and nutrient intake. Nutrition Reviews. 73 (9): 594 – 611
  • 7. Maslen, C., Raffle, A., Marriott, S., Smith, N. (2013) Food Poverty: What does the evidence tell us? Food poverty report July 2013. (Online) http://bristolfoodpolicycouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Food-Poverty-Report-July-2013-for-publication.pdf  (Accessed 16th June 2016)
  • 8. Trussel Trust (2015) Trussel Trust Latest Statistics. Trussel Trust. (Online) https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/ (Accessed 4th May 2016)
  • 9. . Barker, M., Lawrence, W., Woadden, J., Crozier, S. and Skinner, T. 2008 Women of lower educational attainment have lower food involvement and eat less fruit and vegetables Appetite 50 464-8.
  • 10. Lawrence W, Keyte J, Tinati T 2012 A mixed-methods investigation to explore how women living in disadvantaged areas might be supported to improve their diets Journal of Health Psychology 17(6) 785–798
  • 11. Boyland, E., and Whalen, R. (2015) Food advertising to children and its effects on diet: review of recent prevalence and impact data. Pediatric Diabetes 16 (5) 331 – 337
  • 12. Property Services Team (2015) School Meal Uptake in 2015. Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • 13. School Development and Achievement (2015) Director of Public Health Award Data. Bath and North East Somerset Council.
  • 14. School Development and Achievement (2015) Director of Public Health Award Data. Bath and North East Somerset Council.
  • 15. Sirona (2016) Sirona  2015/2016 Cook it Service data