A 'third of UK adults struggle' to afford healthy food


Related Stories

High food prices mean a third of UK adults are struggling to afford to eat healthily, warns a charity.

The British Heart Foundation, which polled 2,444 adults, found 39% sacrificed health benefits for cost when doing their grocery shopping.

One in four said they hadn't bought a single portion of fresh fruit or vegetables in the last week.

Two thirds said they wanted to eat more healthily, but nearly half of these said cost was a hindrance.

The British Heart Foundation says people can still eat healthily on a small budget.

But it is concerned that some people are turning to cheap convenience foods instead.

In the poll, many respondents said they bought ready meals, even though they knew these may contain high levels of saturated fat and salt.

Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the BHF, said: "Healthy eating on a budget is one of the biggest challenges of our times. With the increasing cost of a weekly shopping basket it's a real concern that despite people's best intentions, they're struggling to eat healthily."

The BHF says people should think about inexpensive ways to make healthy meal choices, such as using canned or frozen fruit and vegetables which may be cheaper alternatives to fresh produce.

Likewise, vegetables tend to cost less than meat so, the charity suggests, people could try adding more vegetables to meat-based meals. The meat will go further saving money and it'll help cut down on saturated fat too, it says.

Campaigner Jack Monroe found fame as a food blogger writing about living below the poverty line. She survived on a budget of just £10 a week to feed herself and her two-year-old son by creating healthy, cheap meals.


More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 443.

    For just over 3 years myself and the husband had £20.00 a week for food. 3 meals a day..with some fruit and veg every week.We survived. And this was 2009 - 2012. Our bill now is between £35-40. Budgeting and planning is the key.

  • rate this

    Comment number 431.

    When people work long hours in low paid jobs, many just want to come home to rest and relax. They don’t want to prepare, cook, do dishes and pay scary electric bills.

    Convenience foods are convenient – the clue is in the name.

    Make convenience foods healthier or give people more time.

    There’s too much arrogance here today!

  • rate this

    Comment number 366.

    As a university student I often make things like chilli or spaghetti bolognese, I make enough for 4 portions then freeze three off, with pasta it costs no more than £1.50 a meal. My weekly shop comes to less than £30 for 7 breakfasts lunches and dinners, even squeeze a bag of oranges and apples in there too

  • rate this

    Comment number 251.

    Last night my wife and I had mushroom and red pepper in puff pastry parcels and a low fat cheese sauce with a side of sauteed potatoes and sweetcorn. Healthy meal - £1.86 a portion. Between lunch and dinner we spend about £5 a day on food between us, eat healthily and enjoy our meals. Cost is a convenient excuse, but healthy eating does not have to be expensive - it does, however, take effort.

  • rate this

    Comment number 247.

    What about growing your own in the summer months (it is amazing what can be done in pots) and learn to freeze/pot them for the winter months. Why not go into partnership with your neighbours to do so - I have a large garden and wouldn't mind sharing it - I don't have a lot of experience in this area, but would love to learn to grow my own.


Comments 5 of 7


More Health stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.