Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Which Types of Family are at Risk of Food Poverty in the UK? A Relative Deprivation Approach

  • Rebecca O'Connell (a1), Charlie Owen (a2), Matt Padley (a3), Antonia Simon (a4) and Julia Brannen (a5)...
Abstract

Not enough is known in the UK about how economic phenomena and policy changes have impacted families’ ability to feed themselves. This article employs a novel way of identifying the types of UK families at risk of food poverty over time. Applying a relative deprivation approach, it asks what counts in the UK as a socially acceptable diet that meets needs for health and social participation and how much this costs. Comparing this to actual food expenditure by different family types, between 2005 and 2013, it identifies which are spending less than expected and may be at risk of food poverty. The analysis finds the proportion has increased over time for most family types and for lone parents and large families in particular. The discussion considers findings in light of changing economic and policy contexts and the implications for policy responses of how food poverty is defined and measured.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Bickel, G., Nord, M., Price, C., Hamilton, W. and Cook, J. (2000) ‘Guide to measuring household food security’, Alexandria, US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane [accessed 14.07.2017].
Borch, A. and Kjærnes, U. (2016) ‘Food security and food insecurity in Europe: an analysis of the academic discourse (1975-2013)’, Appetite, 103, 137–47.
Bradshaw, J. and Finch, N. (2002) A Comparison of Child Benefit Packages in 22 Countries, DWP research report 174, Leeds: CDS.
Bradshaw, J., Middleton, S., Davis, A., Oldfield, N., Smith, N., Cusworth, L. and Williams, J. (2008) A Minimum Income Standard for Britain: What People Think, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Carlson, A., Lino, M. and Fungwe, T. (2007) The Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost, and Liberal Food Plans, US Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
Culliney, M., Haux, T. and McKay, S. (2014) Family Structure and Poverty in the UK: An Evidence and Policy Review. Report to Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, http://eprints.lincoln.ac.uk/14958/1/Family_structure_report_Lincoln.pdf [accessed 14.07.2017].
Davis, A. and Padley, M. (2017) ‘What the minimum income standard tells us about living standards in the United Kingdom’, in Fee, D. and Kober-Smith, A. (eds.) Inequalities in the UK: New Discourses, Evolutions and Actions, Bingley: Emerald Publishing Ltd.
Davis, A., Hirsch, D. and Padley, M. (2014) A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2014, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Davis, A., Hirsch, D., Smith, N., Beckhelling, J. and Padley, M. (2012) A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2012: Keeping up in Hard Times, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Davis, O. and Baumberg Geiger, B. (2017) ‘Did food insecurity rise across Europe after the 2008 crisis? An analysis across welfare regimes’, Social Policy and Society, 16, 3,343–60.
De Agostini, P., Hills, J. and Sutherland, H. (2014) Were we Really all in it Together? The Distributional Effects of the UK Coalition Government's Tax-Benefit Policy Changes, London: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE, http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/spcc/wp10.pdf [accessed 03.01. 2018].
Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) (2006) Food Security and the UK: An Evidence and Analysis Paper, London: Defra, http://archive.defra.gov.uk/evidence/economics/foodfarm/reports/documents/foodsecurity.pdf [accessed 03.01.2018].
Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) (2015) Family Food 2014,York: Defra, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/485982/familyfood-2014report-17dec15.pdf [accessed 03.01.2018].
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (2015) Households Below Average Income, London: DWP.
Devereux, S. (1993) Theories of Famine, Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Dowler, E. (2002) ‘Food and poverty in Britain: rights and responsibilities’, Social Policy and Administration, 36, 6, 698717.
Dowler, E. A. and O'Connor, D. (2012) ‘Rights based approaches to addressing food poverty and food insecurity in Ireland and UK’, Social Science and Medicine 74: 44e51.
Dowler, E., Kneafsey, M., Lambie, H., Inman, A. and Collier, R. (2011) ‘Thinking about ‘food security’: engaging with UK consumers’, Critical Public Health, 21,4, 403–16.
Dowler, E., Turner, S. and Dobson, B. (2001) Poverty Bites: Food, Health and Poor Families, CPAG: London.
Falkingham, J., Evandrou, M. and Vlachantoni, A. (2014) ‘Exploring the link between demographic change and poverty in the UK’, ESTRC Centre for Population Change working paper 54, http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/368121/1/WP54_2014_Demographic_change_and_poverty_in_the_UK_Falkingham_et_al.pdf [accessed 14.07.2017].
Fischler, C. (1988) ‘Food, self and identity’, Social Science Information, 27, 2, 275–92.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (2001) The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2001, Rome: FAO.
Food Standards Agency (FSA) (2017) The Food & You Survey: Wave 4, https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/food-and-you-w4-combined-report.pdf [accessed 03.01.2018].
Garthwaite, K. (2016) Hunger Pains: Life Inside Foodbank Britain, Bristol: Policy Press.
Ginn, A., Majumdar, A., Carr, M., Eastwood, G. and Menger, B. (2016) ‘Mapping access to community-developed healthy food baskets including cost and availability’, Health Education Journal, 75, 8, 911–24.
Glennerster, H., Hills, J., Piachaud, D. and Webb, J. (2004) One Hundred Years of Poverty and Policy, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Gordon, D., Mack, J., Lansley, S., Main, G., Nandy, S., Patsios, D., Pomati, M. and the PSE team (2013) ‘‘The impoverishment of the UK’ PSE UK first results: living standards’, http://www.poverty.ac.uk/pse-research/pse-uk-reports [accessed 14.07.2017].
Griffith, R., O'Connell, M. and Smith, K. (2013) ‘Food expenditure and nutritional quality over the Great Recession’, London: Institute for Fiscal Studies, http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn143.pdf [accessed 14.07.2017].
Hadley, D. and Crooks, D. L. (2012) ‘Coping and the biosocial consequences of food insecurity in the 21st century’, Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, 55, 72e94.
Hick, R. (2014) ‘Poverty as capability deprivation: conceptualising and measuring poverty in contemporary Europe’, Archives Europeennes de Sociologie European Journal of Sociology Europaisches Archiv fur Soziologie, 55, 3, 295323.
Hill, K., Davis, A., Hirsch, D. and Marshall, L. (2016) Falling Short: The Experiences of Families Living Below the Minimum Income Standard, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Hirsch, D. and Valadez Martinez, L. (2017) The Living Wage, Newcastle Upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing.
Jones, N., Conklin, A., Suhrcke, M. and Monsivais, P. (2014) ‘The growing price gap between more and less healthy foods: analysis of a novel longitudinal UK dataset’, PLoS One, 9, 10, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0109343 [accessed 14.07.2017].
Kneafsey, M., Dowler, E., Lambie, H., Inman, A. and Collier, R. (2012) ‘Consumers and food security: uncertain or empowered?’ Journal of Rural Studies, 28, 112.
Lambie-Mumford, H. (2013) ‘‘Every town should have one’: emergency food banking in the UK’, Journal of Social Policy, 42, 1, 7389.
Lambie-Mumford, H. and Dowler, E. (2014) ‘Rising use of ‘food aid’ in the United Kingdom’, British Food Journal, 116, 9, 1418–25.
Lambie-Mumford, H. and Green, M. (2015) ‘Austerity, welfare reform and the rising use of food banks by children in England and Wales’, Area, 49, 3, 273–9.
Lambie-Mumford, H., Crossley, D., Jensen, E., Verbeke, M. and Dowler, E. (2014) ‘Household food security in the UK: a review of food aid’, http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Document.aspx?Document=11896_20140219HouseholdFoodSecurityintheUKFINALREPORT.pdf [accessed 14.07.2017].
Lansley, S. and Mack, J. (2015) Breadline Britain: The Rise of Mass Poverty, London: Oneworld Publications.
Lister, R. (2004) Poverty: Key Concepts, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Loopstra, R., Reeves, A., McKee, M. and Stuckler, D. (2016) ‘Food insecurity and social protection in Europe: quasi-natural experiment of Europe's great recessions 2004–2012’, Preventive Medicine, 89, 4450.
Loopstra, R., Reeves, A., Taylor-Robinson, D., Barr, B., McKee, M. and Stuckler, D. (2015) ‘Austerity, sanctions, and the rise of food banks in the UK’, British Medical Journal, 350.
Mack, J. and Lansley, S. (2015) Breadline Britain: The Rise of Mass Poverty, London: Oneworld.
Maillot, M., Darmon, N. and Drewnowski, A. (2010) ‘Are the lowest-cost healthful food plans culturally and socially acceptable?’, Public Health Nutrition, 13, 8, 1178–85.
Maxwell, S. (1996) ‘Food security: a post-modern perspective’, Food Policy, 21, 2, 155e170.
Najman, J. and Davey Smith, G. (2000) ‘The embodiment of class-related and health inequalities: Australian policies’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 24, 1, 34.
Nelson, M., Dick, K. and Holmes, B. (2002) ‘Food budget standards and dietary adequacy in low income families’, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 61, 569–77.
O'Connell, R., Knight, A. and Brannen, J. (2014) ‘Children's food, power and control: negotiations in families with younger children in England’, Childhood, 21, 1, 87102.
O'Connell, R. and Knight, A. (forthcoming) ‘Below the breadline: families and food in austerity Britain’, in Česnuitytė, V. (ed.) Family Lives in Economic Crisis, Bingley: Emerald.
O'Connor, N., Farag, K., Baines, R (2016) ‘What is food poverty? A conceptual framework’, British Food Journal, 118, 2, 429–49.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) (2017) Methodology: Living Costs and Food Survey. User Guidance and Technical Information for the Living Costs and Food Survey, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/methodologies/livingcostsandfoodsurvey [accessed 20.10.2017].
Oldfield, N. and Burr, S. (2008) Minimum Income Standard: The Food Budget Standard, http://www.minimumincomestandard.org/downloads/working_papers/MIS_thefoodbudgetstandard_workingpaper.pdf [accessed 14.07.2017].
Padley, M. and Hirsch, D. (2016) Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/09 to 2013/14, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Padley, M. and Hirsch, D. (2017) A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2017, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Padley, M., Davis, A. Hirsch, D., Horsley, N. and Valadez, L. (2017a) A Minimum Income Standard for London 2016/17, London: Trust for London.
Padley, M., Hirsch, D. and Valadez, L. (2017b) Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/09 to 2014/15, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Padley, M., Marshall, L., Hirsch, D., Davis, A. and Valadez, L. (2015) A Minimum Income Standard for London, London: Trust for London.
Pfieffer, S., Ritter, T. and Oestreicher, E. (2015) ‘Food insecurity in German households: qualitative and quantitative data on coping, poverty consumerism and alimentary participation, Social Policy and Society, 14, 3, 483–95.
Radimer, K. L., Olson, C. M. and Campbell, C.C. (1990) ‘Development of indicators to assess hunger’, Journal of Nutrition, 120 Suppl 11, 1544–8.
Richards, A. (2004 [1932]) Hunger and Work in a Savage Tribe: A Functional Study of Nutrition among the Southern Bantu, Abingdon: Routledge.
Riches, G. and Silvasti, T. (2014) First World Hunger Revisited: Food Charity or the Right to Food?, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Rowntree, B. S. (1901) Poverty: A Study of Town Life, London: Macmillan.
Saunders, P. (2013) Down and Out: Poverty and Social Exclusion in Australia, Bristol: Policy Press.
Sen, A. (1981) Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Stewart, K. (2015) ‘The coalition's record on the under fives: policy spending and outcomes 2010–2015’, Summary Working Paper 12, London: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE, http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/spcc/WP12.pdf [accessed 03.01.2018].
Storms, B., Goedemé, T., Van den Bosch, K., Penne, T., Schuermann, N. and Stockman, S. (2014) Pilot Project for the Development of a Common Methodology on Reference Budgets in Europe: Review of Current State of Play on Reference Budget Practices at National, Regional, and Local Level, Brussels, European Commission.
Tait, C. (2015) Hungry for Change: The Final Report of the Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty, London: The Fabian Society.
Tarasuk, V. (2001) ‘Discussion paper on household and individual food insecurity’, Health Canada, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/nutrition/food_sec_entire-sec_aliments_entier-eng.pdf [accessed 03.01.2018].
Thompson, C., Clarke, G. P., Clarke, M. and Stillwell, J. (2012) ‘Modelling the future opportunities for deep discount food retailing in the UK’, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 22, 2, 143–70.
Townsend, P. (1954) ‘Measuring poverty’, British Journal of Sociology, 5, 2, 130–7.
Townsend, P. (1962) ‘The meaning of poverty’, British Journal of Sociology, 13, 3, 210–27.
Townsend, P. (1979) Poverty in the United Kingdom: A Survey of Household Resources and Standards of Living, Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Wells, R. and Caraher, M. (2014) ‘UK print media coverage of the food bank phenomenon: from food welfare to food charity?’, British Food Journal, 116, 9, 1426–45.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 16
Total number of PDF views: 148 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 849 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 5th February 2018 - 21st July 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.