New report says the Government has failed to recognise and respond to the issues of hunger, malnutrition and obesity in the UK and should appoint a minister to ensure cross-departmental action. | Environmental Audit Committee
A new report finds that food insecurity in the UK, defined as “limited access to food … due to lack of money or other resources”, is significant and growing. Levels are among the worst in Europe, especially for children, with 19% of under 15s living with an adult who is moderately or severely food insecure.
The Committee heard how food insecurity can lead to both malnutrition and obesity, with people forced to rely on the very cheapest foods, which are often nutrient-poor but calorie-rich. The Government’s obesity strategy makes no mention of food insecurity and only the Department for International Development mentions hunger in its Single Departmental Plan.
Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh MP, said “Instead of seeing hunger as an issue abroad, the Government’s New Year resolution should be one of taking urgent action at home to tackle hunger and malnutrition. This can only be addressed by setting clear UK-wide targets and by appointing a Minister for Hunger to deliver them.”
- Full report: Sustainable Development Goals in the UK follow up: Hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity in the UK
- Conclusions and recommendations
- BBC News | MPs want hunger minister role introduced
- The Guardian | Appoint minister for hunger to tackle UK food insecurity, MPs urge
- The Independent | Hunger in UK ‘significant and growing’ but ministers failing to act, MPs warn
- BMJ | Food insecurity in UK is among worst in Europe, especially for children, says committee