Posted: Thu 2nd Mar 2023

Over 20% of households in UK now ‘food insecure’, FSA survey finds

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 2nd, 2023

A recent survey conducted by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed that over 20% of households in the UK are now considered to be food insecure.

This marks the highest level of food insecurity reported since tracking began in 2020.

The survey, which was conducted between April and July of 2022, is part of the FSA’s program called “Food and You 2.”

The research aims to measure knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours related to food safety and other food issues in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The latest findings from the survey indicate that the main driver behind changes in eating habits was financial reasons.

The most common changes people have made to their eating habits include eating out less, eating fewer takeaways, cooking and eating at home more, buying items on special offer more, and changing what and where they buy to cheaper alternatives.

In addition to food insecurity, the survey also revealed that food prices were the top concern for most people, with 66% of respondents reporting it as their main concern. This was followed by concerns about food waste (60%) and the amount of sugar in food (59%).

The FSA’s Chief Executive, Emily Miles, emphasised the importance of this research in guiding the agency’s work as a regulator.

“The experiences people are reporting to us are critically relevant to the FSA’s work as a regulator, and to our mission to make sure people have food they can trust,” she said.

The research also provides insights into food shopping and labelling habits in the UK.

The majority of respondents reported that they bought food from a supermarket or mini-supermarket once a week or more often.

About half of the respondents reported that they bought food from independent shops, such as greengrocers, butchers, bakers, and fishmongers.

The majority of respondents who take into consideration a person who has a food allergy or intolerance were confident that the information provided on food labelling allows them to identify foods that will cause a bad or unpleasant physical reaction.

This latest survey shows that food insecurity and concerns over food prices continue to be major issues in the UK.

The FSA will continue to use these findings to guide its work in ensuring food safety and accessibility for all.

The Food and You 2 survey is an official statistic, and the research measures self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours related to food safety and other food issues.

The survey was conducted among 6,770 adults from 4,727 households across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

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