One In Four UK Adults Are Skipping Meals Because Of The Cost Of Living Crisis

A charity slammed "the ongoing lack of political will to address chronically low incomes".
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

More than one in four adults skipped meals in July because of the cost of living crisis, according to new data.

A YouGov and Christians Against Poverty (CAP) poll of 2,200 adults revealed that 14.7 million (or 28% of) UK adults avoided eating to save on costs during the summer.

The survey also found 11.3 million (21% of) people skipped meals on a weekly basis, due to the ongoing pressures of the cost of living crisis.

The poll found one in 10 agreed that, sometimes, the increased cost of living has made life not worth living.

CAP’s director of external affairs, Gareth McNab, said: “Poverty in our communities is getting worse – it’s devastating the lives of millions of people across the UK and that’s why we need to listen to the people experiencing it.”

Father of three, Rodney, told the charity: “I used to have my own building business and my own home, but when my marriage broke down and a knee operation left me disabled I lost it all.

“I was left as a single parent, skipping meals to make sure the kids had enough, but even then I didn’t have enough to put the heating on during winter.”

McNab added: “Poverty doesn’t have to define who someone is, nor affect how they are treated by society.

“But too often, the brutal realities of everyday life on incomes too low for even the basics are compounded by the stigma, silence and shame from wider society. Nobody should be facing these injustices.”

He also lashed out at “the ongoing lack of political will to address chronically low incomes whether through wages or social security”.

“We have inadequate systems and policies that increasingly fail to protect people when they hit a difficult point in life and don’t provide them with the basics they need to live,” he claimed.

A government spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “Our number one priority is driving down inflation because that will help everyone’s money go further.

“There are nearly two million fewer people in absolute poverty than in 2010, but we know some families are struggling, which is why we are providing record financial support worth around £3,300 per household, raising benefits by over 10% this year and increasing the National Living Wage again.”

The government is also providing an extra £1 billion to extend the Household Support Fund for councils in England to the end of March.

But, inflation in the UK is still at 6.7% – that’s a long way off its peak of 11.1% last October, but still far from the Bank of England’s target rate of 2%.

In the meantime, high energy bills and food prices are still causing concern, according to findings from a new survey by retail giant Currys.

Food is the most common necessity people are going without, according to the 2,000 respondents.

More than two-thirds (68%) said they are eating out less, 63% said they were cutting back on takeaways, and 54% have switched to buying non-branded groceries.

One respondent shared that they are only eating one meal a day and “walking miles instead of paying bus fare”.

The winter is likely to only exacerbate financial concerns as a greater portion of income has to be spent on heating, too.

Currys also found two thirds of Brits are worried about being able to afford heating their homes and 56% of people in the UK are particularly concerned about the colder months.

In fact, 18% of respondents announced they are not planning on using their heating this winter, while 46% said their mental health had been negatively impacted by energy prices climbing.

Energy prices have been rising since late 2021, subsequently impacting most households’ disposable income.

Two-thirds of those surveyed said they were using their appliances less as a result, with 62% saying they were washing their clothes at a colder temperature, and 61% saying they were turning down the thermostat.

More than one in five respondents said they were paying between £51 and £100 more on energy bills per month – which works out at around £1,200 extra per year.

Before You Go

Close