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Dietary inequality under the spotlight at the RSM

“The heart of this challenge for policymakers is how do we rebalance the price, availability and marketing of food so that the healthiest is the easiest choice for everybody … and in so doing, make the food system less damaging for you if you have a low income?”

This was the question posed by Dr Anna Taylor, Executive Director of The Food Foundation, who was taking part in a recent Royal Society of Medicine webinar focusing on food insecurity and dietary inequality in the UK and the likely impacts on health.

Speakers from the healthcare professions, academia and the charity sector addressed topics including why poverty leads to a poor diet, the future of community food provision and the experience of paediatricians in understanding the causes of food insecurity.

Speaking after the event, Dr Leigh Gibson, President of the Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine, said: “Inequalities in diet and food insecurity are such important topics in the current difficult economic climate, with serious implications for health and lifespan in the UK population. We were very pleased to be able to bring together such a diverse spread of experience and expertise on the topic of food insecurity into one event. 

“As well as hearing about the latest data on economic impacts on diet and the implications for health, it was very encouraging to learn about important initiatives, such as the School Meals Coalition and the linking of food clubs to food banks, that are helping to support communities most affected by this crisis.”

The webinar aimed to raise awareness among healthcare professionals of the issues surrounding poverty and food insecurity, to help them detect and act on dietary inequalities on behalf of their patients.

‘Dietary inequality during an economic crisis: Can a health Titanic be averted?’ was hosted by the RSM Food and Health Forum on Friday 2 June.

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