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Crunch Creep

12:03 UK time, Monday, 13 July 2009

Strange, tangential and often unlikely events laid at the door of the credit crunch.

Some British fish and chip shops have been trying out fishy tactics by passing off catfish from the rivers of the Mekong delta in Vietnam as the traditional dish's standard ingredient of cod. More details (the Times).

With 55% of children reporting that they are worried about how the recession will affect their families, pester power is on the decline for the first time since World War II. And even if children weren't asking for less, 56% of parents report saying "no" more often. More details (Press Association).

The number of men suffering from eating disorders is on the rise. While this demographic still only accounts for about 10% of all cases, there has been an increase in adult men seeking treatment since the crunch began. More details (Birmingham Post).

In the past year, British people gained a total of 20 million stone, which one survey links back to the recession. When asked for the reason behind the weight gain, top responses included stress eating, buying cheaper and less healthy food, working longer hours and not being able to afford gym membership. More details (Daily Express).

Tough times are expected to cause a dip in UK divorce rates, with one explanation being that it is more difficult to sell the family home in a falling housing market. But for couples who do split up, the number who cite money problems as a reason is likely to rise. More details (the Independent).

According to one survey, a fifth of British people have resorted to selling treasured belongings to survive the recession. Among the loot: porn magazines from the 1940s, record collections and a wooden leg. More details (Sunday Sun).

The recession may be causing a spike in fabricated burglary reports, in an attempt to make false insurance claims. One police station had 10 such episodes over the past few months. More details (Daily Mail).

Last year, England's use of antidepressant prescriptions went up by more than two million compared with the year before. With a total of 36 million prescriptions in 2008, there has been an increase of almost 25% over the past five years. More details (the Observer.

More people may be turning to their backyards into homes for an unusual new pet - a chicken. According to early evidence, more people are combating the recession with the economical animal, which produces eggs, eats table scraps and has waste that can be composted. More details (the Economist).

Writers' advances have dropped to about three-quarters of what they used to be. Historians, in particular, have been hurt by this trend. While they used to earn an advance of £120,000, now the rate is a mere £20,000. More details (the Times).

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