PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

New map shows where millions of UK residents struggle to access food

2021-07-22
(Press-News.org) In one out of every six local authorities, rates of hunger are more than 150 per cent (one and a half times) the national average. Shockingly, in one in 10 local authorities, the rate is almost double, according to new research by the University of Sheffield.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield Institute for Sustainable Food modelled data from the Food Foundation, who surveyed people across the UK, and for the first time were able to identify food insecurity at a local authority scale. Local authority percentages show the marked variation in levels of food insecurity between local areas and, whereas national and even regional averages, hide this difference.

According to data from the Food Foundation, in January 2021, 4.2 per cent of adults across the UK reported that during the previous month they had been hungry but unable to eat at least once, but the problem is much worse in some places with nearly one out of every ten adults going hungry.

This new analysis of the national data collected during the pandemic goes further to assess the problem at a local authority level and breaks down experiences of food insecurity into three distinct groups, mapping them for the first time:

Those who are hungry include people who indicated that they were hungry but were unable to eat food because they could not afford it, or were unable to access food in the previous month.

Those who are struggling to access food, include those who may have sought help within the last month with access to food, have cut back on meals and healthy foods to stretch tight budgets, or indicated that they struggled to access food in some way. In some places the rate is as high as 28 per cent of adults.

Those who worry about food insecurity or being able to continue to supply adequate food for their household. These people may be just about managing but could slip into food insecurity as a result of an unexpected crisis. Data, represented on a map of the UK identifies which local authorities are most affected within all four nations of the UK. The map shows it is in England where the areas with the highest and lowest rates of food insecurity are located. At one end of the scale, the majority of local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber are in the top 20 per cent of local authorities with the greatest percentages of adults going hungry, whereas in the East of England, the majority of local authorities are in the 20 per cent that have the lowest percentages.

Across the Sheffield City Region, both Rotherham and Barnsley are in the 20 per cent of local authorities with the highest percentages of adults who were hungry at least once in January. While Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster are all in the 20 per cent of local authorities with the highest percentages of adults who were most likely to have struggled to access food.

The areas worst hit by food insecurity are Wycombe [1] with 14 per cent of people who are estimated to be hungry and nearly 30 percent of people who are struggling to access food. The area also has high estimates for numbers of people who are worried about having enough food (22 per cent). This is followed closely by Hull with 13 per cent of people being hungry and more than one in five adults who struggled to access food. The locality with least hunger, struggle or worry is St. Albans.

Food insecurity is the inability to consistently afford, access and utilise the food needed to maintain good health and wellbeing. The problem has become well known in recent years due to the rise in reporting on food bank usage in the UK; the Food Foundation has been tracking household food insecurity UK-wide showing more people living with the daily effects of poor diets and limited food access.

Typically measures of moderate and severe food insecurity use three indicators: skipping meals for a whole day or more, not having enough food and going hungry, and shrinking or skipping meals with 7.4 per cent of adults reported one or more of these experiences in the one month running up to January 2021.

In this study, the second indicator comprises the Hungry measure. The estimates for the struggling with food access measure include those who skipped or shrank meals, and also includes those who indicated that they sought help when they were food insecure, and those who gave a reason for not having enough food.

The worry measure is not generally included in other estimates of food insecurity; however, this group is likely to be at increased risk of food insecurity. They will struggle to include healthy food in their diets and be bearing the mental strain of trying to make their budgets stretch.

Dr Megan Blake from the University of Sheffield Institute for Sustainable Food, who collaborated on the work, said: "This new map, for the first time, makes visible the patterns of food insecurity across the UK. While no one should have to go hungry, struggle to get or worry about having enough food, in some places it is at proportions that are especially shocking, particularly as we are a wealthy country. If we are going to recover from Covid-19 we must address this problem."

This new analysis of the data shows how not everyone living with food insecurity experiences hunger on the same level, making apparent that an alarmingly large number of people also actively plan to go without food to make ends meet, or worry about doing so. The burden of these forms of food insecurity also immediately threatens people's health and wellbeing.

For some, living on the edge of food insecurity may mean an event such as a car or boiler breakdown or an unexpected illness, could be the tipping point that squeezes their food budget, and they have to plan to eat less, or skip meals altogether.

This in turn can be linked to higher rates of illness and obesity due to people buying cheaper foods, which store longer and are more filling, over healthier choices.

Kris Gibbon-Walsh, from FareShare - the UK's national network of charitable surplus food redistributors, and the Emergencies Partnership, said: "The best way to become food secure is to have the health and money to go to the shops, buy the nutritious food you need for your family and the knowledge to cook it. People should not need to rely on charity to access food, however charities can do a huge amount of good work with food to support their communities, bring people together and stop them becoming food insecure in the first place.

"Having a map of food insecurity in the UK allows FareShare and other food organisations to understand the geographical implications of where we send our food and make decisions, not only about where the food goes, but also how the local foodscape can best support its community out of food insecurity."

Anna Taylor, Executive Director, Food Foundation said: "We've known from tracking food insecurity at a national level during the pandemic that Covid-19 has pushed households across the UK further into hardship and forced a newly vulnerable segment of society to seek help for the first time.

"Local authorities have played a leading role in strengthening charitable food provision for the vulnerable during the crisis and many now have a good understanding of levels of need in their area. But this new study makes clear the variation in food access and vulnerability to food insecurity from one local authority to the next across the UK. It should provide a valuable resource to inform and drive targeted policy action at the local level in response to the data to eradicate food insecurity and deliver on the levelling up agenda."

Dr Megan Blake, added: "We hope this clear breakdown of the data will be a useful resource for local authorities and the government to use to address the challenges facing all people living with food insecurity, and that help can be tailored and targeted to those communities who need it, as the answer is not as simple as opening more food banks."

"Food insecurity is undermining our chances of recovery after Covid-19. We need to urgently address this issue that pervades so many of our communities. No one should have to be hungry."

INFORMATION:



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Journey from smoking to vaping variable - Otago academics

2021-07-22
Persistence may be the key when quitting smoking using an electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS), commonly known as vaping, a University of Otago study found. Researchers found people attempting to switch from cigarettes to ENDS reported highly varied smoking and ENDS use. They recommend people persist in their attempts to transition away from smoking, even if their progress feels slow and uncertain. Lead author Associate Professor Tamlin Conner, of the Department of Psychology, says, although people may plan to use ENDS exclusively instead of cigarettes, making the switch is not always straightforward. "We found that dual use of ENDS and cigarettes was very common, suggesting that people ...

Longer stays in refugee camps increase cases of acute mental illness

2021-07-22
A new quantitative study suggests people seeking asylum are more likely to experience mental health deterioration as they spend more time living in refugee camps, backing up qualitative evidence from aid organisations. The research, co-authored by Dr Francisco Urzua from the Business School (formerly Cass) alongside practitioners from Moria Medical Support (MMS) and academics from Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile and University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands measured incidences of acute mental health crises arising from extended stays in the Moria refugee camp on ...

Researchers automate brain MRI image labelling, more than 100,000 exams labelled in under 30 minutes

2021-07-22
Researchers from the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences at King's College London have automated brain MRI image labelling, needed to teach machine learning image recognition models, by deriving important labels from radiology reports and accurately assigning them to the corresponding MRI examinations. Now, more than 100,00 MRI examinations can be labelled in less than half an hour. Published in European Radiology, this is the first study allowing researchers to label complex MRI image datasets at scale. The researchers say it would take years to manually perform labelling of more than 100,000 MRI examinations. Deep learning typically requires tens of thousands of labelled images to ...

Llama 'nanobodies' could hold key to preventing deadly post-transplant infection

2021-07-22
Scientists have developed a 'nanobody' - a small fragment of a llama antibody - that is capable of chasing out human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) as it hides away from the immune system. This then enables immune cells to seek out and destroy this potentially deadly virus. Around four out of five people in the UK are thought to be infected with HCMV, and in developing countries this can be as high as 95%. For the majority of people, the virus remains dormant, hidden away inside white blood cells, where it can remain undisturbed and undetected for decades. ...

Defect engineering assisting in high-level anion doping towards fast charge transfer kinetic

Defect engineering assisting in high-level anion doping towards fast charge transfer kinetic
2021-07-22
The research team of Prof. Xiaobo Ji and associate Prof. Guoqiang Zou has proposed an ingenious oxygen vacancy (OV)-engineering strategy to realize high content anionic doping in TiO2 and offered valuable insights into devise electrode materials with fast charge transfer kinetics in the bulk phase. The article titled "High content anion (S/Se/P) doping assisted by defect engineering with fast charge transfer kinetics for high-performance sodium ion capacitors" is published in Science Bulletin. Xinglan Deng is listed as first author and Prof. Guoqiang Zou as corresponding author. The ...

Scientists come up with new method for simultaneous processing of different types of waste

Scientists come up with new method for simultaneous processing of different types of waste
2021-07-22
An international research team has come up with an innovative method for metal recovery from industrial waste. The new method allows the simultaneous recovery of multiple metals from waste oxides in a single process. This novel route will lower the burden on waste storage facilities with significant contributions to the economic and environmental sustainability of industrial waste management. The study was published in Journal of Environmental Management. This work is the first in a series of studies aimed at developing cost-effective and environmentally sustainable solutions for industrial waste recycling. Some of the major industries ...

Astronomers make first clear detection of a moon-forming disc around an exoplanet

Astronomers make first clear detection of a moon-forming disc around an exoplanet
2021-07-22
Using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is a partner, astronomers have unambiguously detected the presence of a disc around a planet outside our Solar System for the first time. The observations will shed new light on how moons and planets form in young stellar systems. "Our work presents a clear detection of a disc in which satellites could be forming," says Myriam Benisty, a researcher at the University of Grenoble, France, and at the University of Chile, who led the new research published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. "Our ALMA observations were obtained at such exquisite resolution that we could clearly identify ...

Spotted: An exoplanet with the potential to form moons

Spotted: An exoplanet with the potential to form moons
2021-07-22
Cambridge, MA ¬- Astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian have helped detect the clear presence of a moon-forming region around an exoplanet -- a planet outside of our Solar System. The new observations, published Thursday in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, may shed light on how moons and planets form in young stellar systems. The detected region is known as a circumplanetary disk, a ring-shaped area surrounding a planet where moons and other satellites may form. The observed disk surrounds exoplanet PDS 70c, one of two giant, Jupiter-like planets orbiting a star nearly 400 light-years away. Astronomers had found hints of a "moon-forming" disk around this exoplanet before but since ...

Professional rugby may be associated with changes in brain structure

2021-07-22
Participation in elite adult rugby may be associated with changes in brain structure. This is the finding of a study of 44 elite rugby players, almost half of whom had recently sustained a mild head injury while playing. The study, part of the Drake Rugby Biomarker Study, was led by Imperial College London and published in the journal Brain Communications. The research found a significant proportion of the rugby players had signs of abnormalities to the white matter, in addition to abnormal changes in white matter volume over time. White matter is the 'wiring' of the brain, and helps brain cells communicate with each other. The research team say more work is now needed to investigate the long-term effects of professional rugby on brain health. Professor David Sharp, senior author ...

COVID-19: Patients with malnutrition may be more likely to have severe outcomes

2021-07-22
Adults and children with COVID-19 who have a history of malnutrition may have an increased likelihood of death and the need for mechanical ventilation, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Malnutrition hampers the proper functioning of the immune system and is known to increase the risk of severe infections for other viruses, but the potential long-term effects of malnutrition on COVID-19 outcomes are less clear. Louis Ehwerhemuepha and colleagues investigated associations between malnutrition diagnoses and subsequent COVID-19 severity, using medical records for 8,604 children and 94,495 adults (older than 18 years) who were hospitalised with COVID-19 in the United States between March and June 2020. Patients with a diagnosis ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Scientists model 'true prevalence' of COVID-19 throughout pandemic

New breakthrough to help immune systems in the fight against cancer

Through the thin-film glass, researchers spot a new liquid phase

Administering opioids to pregnant mice alters behavior and gene expression in offspring

Brain's 'memory center' needed to recognize image sequences but not single sights

Safety of second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines after first-dose allergic reactions

Changes in disparities in access to care, health after Medicare eligibility

Use of high-risk medications among lonely older adults

65+ and lonely? Don't talk to your doctor about another prescription

Exosome formulation developed to deliver antibodies for choroidal neovascularization therapy

Second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose found safe following allergic reactions to first dose

Plant root-associated bacteria preferentially colonize their native host-plant roots

Rare inherited variants in previously unsuspected genes may confer significant risk for autism

International experts call for a unified public health response to NAFLD and NASH epidemic

International collaboration of scientists rewrite the rulebook of flowering plant genetics

Improving air quality reduces dementia risk, multiple studies suggest

Misplaced trust: When trust in science fosters pseudoscience

Two types of blood pressure meds prevent heart events equally, but side effects differ

New statement provides path to include ethnicity, ancestry, race in genomic research

Among effective antihypertensive drugs, less popular choice is slightly safer

Juicy past of favorite Okinawan fruit revealed

Anticipate a resurgence of respiratory viruses in young children

Anxiety, depression, burnout rising as college students prepare to return to campus

Goal-setting and positive parent-child relationships reduce risk of youth vaping

New research identifies cancer types with little survival improvements in adolescents and young adul

Oncotarget: Replication-stress sensitivity in breast cancer cells

Oncotarget: TERT and its binding protein: overexpression of GABPA/B in gliomas

Development of a novel technology to check body temperature with smartphone camera

The mechanics of puncture finally explained

Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado's subalpine forests

[Press-News.org] New map shows where millions of UK residents struggle to access food