170 leading health professionals have published an open letter in the Lancet medical journal calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to instigate an independent working group to monitor nutrition and hunger in the UK.
Alarm has been growing among health practitioners over the level of hunger in the country. They also cite concern about the absence of basic nutritional requirements in much of the food consumed by people on low incomes as people turn to cheaper, fattier foods, because they cannot afford to eat well, due to falling incomes, low wages and rising food prices. They also note that the “welfare system is increasingly failing to provide a robust last line of defence against hunger” and that “food bank numbers are an inadequate indicator of need, because many households only ask for emergency food help as a last resort”, which is in stark contrast to DWP official Nick Couling’s claim that those using food banks were making the most of their “economic choices”, to Holyrood’s welfare reform committee this week.
Source: Lancet online