“This (food poverty) has all the signs of a public health emergency that could go unrecognized until it is too late to take preventive action,” health experts said in a letter to the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Experts also raised concerns over the increase in the use of food banks and the number of malnourished cases, linking the problem to the rising cost of living and the UK government’s changes to the country’s welfare system.
They cited that the government statistics show the number of malnutrition-related admissions to hospitals across England has more than doubled since 2008-09.
Moreover, public health professionals draw attention to a recent report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) which found a decrease in the amount of calories consumed by British families.
Chris Mould, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, Britain’s largest organizer of food banks, urged the government to set up an inquiry into food poverty.
“These alarming developments point towards serious trouble for the nation in the years ahead unless urgent action is taken now,” Mould said.
Earlier in November, a survey showed that more than a quarter of adults in Britain have experienced food poverty during the last 12 months.
According to the poll, conducted by the Trussell Trust, store giant Tesco and food redistribution charity FareShare, some 27 percent of British adults said they found it harder to feed their family than a year ago.