PruHealth has announced that, according to its recent study, every one in five Brits (22%) is eating less healthily due to the rising cost of living.
With the UK dipping back into recession and food inflation on the rise, new data from PruHealth, the health insurance provider that rewards healthy behaviour, finds the continuing rise in cost of living means that 10.6 million Brits are not eating as healthily as they would like to and over half (52%) believe their health has suffered as a result of the recession.
The study, which ran at the start of the financial downturn in 2008 and again this year, highlights the nation's health is sinking further into the doldrums in terms of its eating habits.
Over the last four years 75% of Brits have changed their eating and shopping habits and 85% of these stated the recession and or rising food prices as the cause for the change.
The 'five-a-day' mantra is one of the most high profile Government health campaigns, but the number of Brits struggling to reach the recommended target has increased by 26%. Three fifths (59%) admit they are currently finding it a challenge compared to 47% at the start of the recession in 2008
More than two thirds (68%) of Brits say healthier foods tend to be more expensive. One in six (16%) respondents said they're buying as much as they can that is 'reduced to clear' and one in ten (11%) only buy foods that are on special offer. Worryingly, around one in four (24%) Brits say they regularly take vitamin supplements because they are unable to eat as healthily as they like or to supplement their diet.
Naturally most parents want to put their children's health first and ensure they have a nutritionally balanced diet, but almost one in five (18%) are doing this at the expense of their own health. One in ten (9%) are even skipping meals so their children eat well.
Dr Dawn Richards, Head of Clinical Service at PruHealth, commented: "We can clearly see how people's healthy eating habits have been affected, with the picture having got significantly worse since the start of the economic downturn. People are only too well aware of the need to eat healthily, but financial constraints are making it difficult, resulting in people's health being negatively affected."
Notes to editors:
2012 data - On behalf of PruHealth, OnePoll carried out an online survey among a nationally representative sample of 2000 people in March 2012. Results are weighted to be representative of the GB adult population.
2008 data - On behalf of PruHealthby Ipsos MORI carried out an online survey among a nationally representative sample of 3,034 GB adults in July 2008. Results are weighted to be representative of the GB adult population.
The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Full consumer product information can be found at www.pruhealth.co.uk
PruHealth was launched into the UK market in October 2004 as a joint venture between Discovery and UK insurer, Prudential, in response to a growing need for consumer-directed private medical insurance products.
PruHealth has received several industry awards, including the Most Innovative New Product, Health Insurance Awards 2011, Most Trusted PMI Provider at the 2010 Moneywise Awards, the Best PMI Provider at the 2009 Moneyfacts Awards, Best use of Marketing to Intermediaries (Brokers) at the 2011 Health Insurance awards and the award for the Best Individual PMI provider at the 2010 Health Insurance Awards and 2010 Cover Excellence awards.
PruHealth Vitality is PruHealth's proven wellness programme that allows all members to get and stay healthy through a range of tools and discounts.
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