Healthy eating - a luxury for the rich?

Healthy eating - a luxury for the rich?

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Unhealthy foods are often cheaper and easier

An official report from the UK government shows that the UK's food system is endangering public health and the environment. According to the report, millions of British families cannot afford to eat healthy. Unhealthy foods are cheaper and easier to acquire than the healthy foods recommended in the guidelines.

The UK Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment calls on the government to end the years of inactivity and to ensure that healthy, sustainable food is accessible to all. The report can be viewed on the UK Parliament website.

Healthy eating in England reserved for high earners

The report shows that the British are currently consuming more processed foods than any other country in Europe. Many parents thus lay the foundation for poor health of their children for cost reasons. "Many of Britain's poorest families have little or no choice," said John Richard Krebs, a member of the House of Lords. They buy unhealthy food because they can only afford it. The government has known about the problem for decades, but does not act.

Unhealthy eating saves time and money

According to the report, the British consume many high-quality foods - including chips, processed meat, and convenience foods. The system encourages such eating habits by making it the cheapest to buy the most unhealthy foods. In addition, the preparation is usually easier, which saves time when cooking.

This is also reflected in the obesity rates. The British have the highest percentage of overweight people in Europe. Around two thirds of all adults and one third of all children put too many pounds on the scales.

Committee calls for healthy eating for everyone

The Committee made a number of recommendations in different areas to renew the food system and to ensure that a healthy, sustainable diet is possible for everyone. Recommended measures are:

  • measuring how many people are living with insufficient nutrition,
  • understand why healthy eating is so much more expensive and include these points in the benefit calculation,
  • Curb advertising of unhealthy food,
  • Introducing mandatory food industry regulations to reduce salt, sugar and unhealthy fats
  • Food initiatives for underprivileged children, such as free school meals,
  • set up a body to monitor progress
  • promote the production and consumption of healthier foods.

Obesity in Germany

Germany is also significantly above the EU average for the proportion of overweight people. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), two thirds of German men (67 percent) and half of German women (53 percent) are overweight. Just under a quarter of adults (23 percent of men and 24 percent of women) are obese. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • UK Parliament: Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment Hungry for change: fixing the failures in food (published: 06.07.2020),
  • RKI: Obesity and Obesity (accessed: 07.07.2020),

Video: How To Start Eating Healthy LIFE CHANGING (September 2022).


  1. Fontayne


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