Food security in the UK Infographic text

Hello! Here is the accompanying text to the post found here, on instagram. This page is for people who use screen readers, cannot discern black on pink text or for any other reason cannot read text on an instagram post. The sources for each slide are at the bottom of this page.

Image description: All text is black on a light pink background.

The first slide reads ‘What is food security? And how does it impact me? Here’s what the government’s new food guidelines haven’t considered

The second slide reads: As a response to COVID19, the UK government has launched new ‘anti-obesity’ guidelines as a response to ‘8% of COVID hospitalisations occurring with ‘obese’ people.’ To understand why this campaign is ineffective and dangerous, we need to understand food security.

The UN says “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences. The four pillars of food security are availability, access, utilization and stability.”

The third slide reads: 1.2 million people in the UK live in ‘food deserts’ with limited access to fresh, affordable food according to a 2018 study by the Social Market Foundation.

4 million children in the UK live in households that struggle to afford to buy enough fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods to meet official nutrition guidelines. Food prices rose by 7.7% between 2002 and 2016, while incomes for the poorest families fell by 7.1% – the Food Foundation.

The poorest families in the UK cannot access available food. They do not have food security.

The fourth slide reads: 1.6 million people used a foodbank in the UK in 2019, 250k more than 2018. Instead of addressing the huge issue that 2.5% of our population are relying on foodbanks, the government are fat-shaming people instead.

The government are also giving out ‘Eat out to help out’ vouchers to remedy the impacts of COVID. These are redeemable at resturants many can’t access, and often serve food the government are demonising us for enjoying.
The fifth slide reads: It’s clear that we are nothing but commodities until we are deemed a burden on society.

The sixth slide reads: If you’ve ever donated to a foodbank, you’d have noticed that fresh fruit and vegetables aren’t allowed to be donated. People relying on foodbanks do not have a say in what food they receive. Food with a longer shelf-life typically has less nutritional value.

A government-led scheme which brought fresh fruit and vegetables to children in all primary schools was scrapped in March 2020. There are no plans to reintroduce the scheme when schools open again.

The seventh slide reads: The government are encouraging calorie counting. This is frequently a trigger for disordered eating behaviours. The current government have systematically underfunded and devalued mental health services in the NHS. This includes eating disorder services.

They are also giving a £50 voucher for people to fix their bikes with, and are encouraging prescription of weight loss and exercise at the doctors.

They are doing nothing to address how food insecurity causes ill-health

The eighth slide reads: The government aren’t interested in addressing how systemic class and race inequalities contribute to food-insecurity and ‘fatness’.

They are only interested in vilifying the most vulnerable in our society.

This is the end of the image description. The sources are below in link form.

Slide 3 Slide sources: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/12/more-than-a-million-uk-residents-live-in-food-deserts-says-study and https://foodfoundation.org.uk/

Slide 4: Slide sources: https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/mid-year-stats/ and https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8585/ (this is a useful downloadable .pdf)

Slide 6 Slide sources: http://www.fruitnet.com/fpj/article/182151/calls-to-reinstate-school-fruit-and-veg-scheme

Slide 7 Slide sources: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-obesity-strategy-unveiled-as-country-urged-to-lose-weight-to-beat-coronavirus-covid-19-and-protect-the-nhs

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