Omen for Americans: Malnutrition Doubles in the UK as the Economy Falters

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A report in the UK Daily Mail says that hospitalization cases for treatment of malnutrition have doubled over the past 5 years. The increase is linked to Britain’s crippling economic downturn.

Easington MP Grahame Morris, who sits on the House of Commons health select committee, told the Chronicle that the figures should be an alarm bell.

He said: ‘I certainly think the Government’s policies on austerity with cuts in public services and welfare benefits have been a contributory factor.

‘I suspect, with increasing fuel bills, many low-income households in the North East, especially older people, are having to choose between heating and eating.’

Ministers have previously argued that a surge in demand has in part been fuelled by jobcentre staff being allowed to refer the unemployed to food banks for help.


Cuts to benefits, frozen or falling wages and rising living costs have been blamed in part for some people struggling to make ends meet.

The figures come as the Archbishop of Canterbury has urged Christmas shoppers to give money to Britain’s expanding network of food banks rather than splash out on expensive presents.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby made the appeal in reaction to news of a shocking increase in the number of impoverished Britons now relying on food handouts. (source)

Is this our future?

As the US economy continues to collapse and the processed food industry continues to churn out ever-cheaper, ever-more-toxic garbage, we are going to see malnutrition cases increase dramatically in our own country.  The poor are targeted by advertisers selling the most chemical-laden, GMO-filled substances masquerading as food, while simple, nutritious organic foods are out of reach for the average American.  Those of us who prioritize real food are painted as “snobs” and “elitists” while marketers try to make fast food and packaged food the first choice for lower-income consumers.

Of course, those of us in the know realize that looking after our health by filling our bodies with what was meant to nourish us is just good sense, and not an exercise in snobbery.

We can easily compare our own financial situation to that of the UK, who can compare their situation to that of Greece.  The pattern is the always the same when economies crumble, and we’d be wise to use the information trickling out of Europe to serve as a guide to our preparedness steps.

As a measure for the future, it is vital for the health of your family to stock up now on the most nutritious foods you can. Also purchase good quality vitamin supplements, heirloom seeds, and the necessary items from producing and preserving as much of your own food as possible. Keep in mind that the things no one can take for you are your knowledge and skills.

If we can’t learn from history, we’re doomed to make the same mistakes that others did. People who were formerly middle class are now in line at food banks and recipients of government benefits. As things collapse further, food bank donations will slow down and benefits will get slashed again and again until they are gone. Watch closely the situations in Europe and the UK, because as their events unfold, we can see our own future.

empty food bank

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Unfortunately most people in the United States and other developed nations only pay attention when someone is grossly overweight or starving. The majority of people never even consider the possibility that an average – or slightly overweight person – could be nutritionally void. Many preppers store food that won’t give nearly enough nutritional value over long periods. I often wonder what will become of those who are nutritionally healthy in families while other members remain lacking. What happens when these healthy people must take care of multiple people that otherwise look “normal”? What happens when said people cannot contribute in the way they planned? Even preppers who move onto their own land (or chose to urban homestead) have much work to do to put the necessary minerals and such back in the soil. The Back to Eden documentary is a great way to start. However, as with providing nutrition to someone who has been deprived for long periods it will take time to get back to full strength.

  • Daisy,

    Well said! I wish more people would realize this and take steps to add food storage, learn to grow food and learn to become more self reliant.

    The local food pantries are seeing longer lines and more families in need. With the next level of collapse, it is going to get worse.

    Take care!
    KY Mom

  • Most won’tearn from history. Most won’t care. Most won’t even notice until they are in that bed dying.

    Why are we even trying. People are using there preps now. It time to start this party before the ones that will or can rebuild still have the strength and supplies to survie

  • Thank-you Daisy for this article. With the looming implosion of Obamacare, dark days are ahead. Feeding our families and providing them with quality healthcare may be a challenge at best now thanks to all the government “help” that is nothing but a cheap promise.
    God Bless you and yours!

  • Good ideas and somber thoughts.

    We have fruit trees in my back yard. But all of my neighbors have none. We have two garden spots, about 24×24, and my neighbors have none, other than two folks that have a very small spot.

    Our freezer we fill every October with local beef of hamburger and salisbury cuts. The rest is mostly sweet corn.

    I am not really that prepared. My neighbors, I don’t know?

    Just keep learning about food, agriculture, and the wild edibles. You wont regret it.

  • Skills and knowledge are important, but exactly what skills set and what knowledge base is important to the average person? Based on my many people encounters over the years, most do not have either. To tell someone all they must do is to produce a good or service that someone is willing to buy is making light of what that really means.

    The learning curve for a skill worth learning is a steep incline. It takes hard work, determination, sweat, and many times, tears. Some say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Being an autodidact is essential, and blessed if someone will be willing to mentor you. Even so, few are willing to take that steep climb.

    Ray Bradbury met the challenge. He felt that libraries raised him. He was not able to afford a college education, but went to the library three days a week for ten years. He wrote every day. He applied is strong knowledge base to his writing.

    Ray Bradbury also had an advantage. His wife was committed to his vision and worked to support them while he worked on his craft. It takes money to make money.

    A skill can be taken away from you. It may become obsolete, the supplies for it may no longer available, the customer base no longer exists, it is declared illegal, or becomes financially prohibitive to produce the product.

    By the Grace of God.

  • Where to start? Britain’s crippling economic downturn? This is mediahype, in the 1970’s the situation was far worse yet malnutrition was not an issue. But then welfare familes were not spending money on iphones and 50″ screen tvs. Malnutrition in the UK is caused by neglect not poverty. There is a website called benefits calculator ran by our government that shows what benefits the unemployed and low paid can get. An unemployed mother of three will recieve, £57 per week in income support or £67 per week if she is looking for work. £50 per week per child, child benefit of £30 per week, rent of upto £140 pounds per week unless she is in london and the south where she can get up to £400 per week. She will pay no council tax, ie property taxes, or income tax. Medicalcare ofcourse is free at point of use and the unemployed and low paid and all children get free prescriptions. In Wales and Scotland perscriptions are free to all. She and her children will get free dental care, eyeglasses and eyetests. Free school meals and subsidy for school uniforms!
    However should she take a job paying minimum wage £6.30? Per hour and work 36 hours week or 16 hours if any child is under 7 she will get £78 pw working tax credit, £52 pw child tax credit, help with rent of up to 100% depending on circumstances reduced council tax and £30 per week child benefit. A married couple would recieve the same except a higher rate for unemployment.
    Should her or any of the family be registered as disabled then a higher rate tax credit is paid along with disabilty allowance of up to £300 per month with an additional mobility allowance of up to £220 per month for a car. Under the mobility scheme a free car with roadtax and all servicing can be supplied in exchange for the mobility allowance.
    The cuts are myth as a sop to voters who want smaller less expensive government. Local councils have cut services such as libraries and public toilets whilst still having chief executives paid more than the prime minister!
    The economy is recovering, unlike the rest of europe who cannot deflate their currency, germany in the other hand is almost in recession but has avoided it because the euro keeps germanys products at artificially low prices. Iif the euro goes then germany will be in a deep recession as its goods become unaffordable.
    In short in the UK malnutritionis a choicethat people make when smoking, drinking, and the purchase of luxury items become more important than the food they eat.

    • Roger

      I am British and there are several inaccuracies in your statement. Child benefit is £20.80, council tax IS paid by those on benefit and as a disabled person I can tell you for a fact the total allowance is actually £396 PER MONTH at the higher rate. There is no allowance for a car and there hasn’t been for many years. Any payment for disability is classed as taxable income though other benefits as you state are not.

      One dental check up is allowed per year for free and a voucher for PART of the cost for eyeglasses is provided every 2 years.

      If you are unfortunate enough for your child to wear glasses the TOTAL cost if extra glasses, breakages etc is borne by the parent.

      The rent allowance depends on the size of your house and the people living there, for example my child and I were deemed to only need one toilet and two bedrooms. Even though the council decide, if you are in utility housing, where you live and the size of accommodation money is detected for the extra rooms you supposedly do not need.

      The shortfall between my rent and my rent allowance was a mere £211 per month.

      Tax credits are not £50 per week, it varies depending on total household income. You are correct that most non-workers get something.

      What you haven’t mentioned is prices. Compared to the USA we pay a stupid amount for even basic foodstuffs. I can assure you poverty is not a choice most of us make Roger, it is something we cannot avoid.




      • Child benefit for the first child is £20.80 my example above was for some one with three,hence my figure was too low. Mobility allowance fdoesn’t exist? Funny my son who is disabled recieves it at the middle rate, yes I am british. The rent example I gave cover again the family example I gave. Dental check ups are free every six month, anyone in receipt of tax credits gets an NHS exemption card. The DLA higher rate is £79.15 pw mobility higher rate is £55.55 combined giving £538.80. Newer cases go under PIP. I am sorry that the government doesn’t see fit to buy you armani glasses but almost all opticians carry ranges covered by the voucher. Incidentally no matter how much you earn if there is a history of diabetes in your family you will recieve free eye tests.
        Again inthe example I gave on minimum wage you will recieve just over £50 tax credit per child and working tax credit of just over £78.
        Tell us why you think the hard working taxpayers of this country should pay for you to have a surplus of bedrooms and toilets. As for your rent, move. When my first wife died I had four sons to care for and had to sell up an move to a far cheaper place, why should the state subsidise you. Food is still cheap in this country if you’re not living off processed ready meals. Try aldis, I have too!
        The benefits calculator I quote is run by the Department of Work and Pensions of OUR country.
        So to recap the only part I was wrong on was UNDERSTATING the child benefit fot a mother of three OK. So save your indignation for someone you can fool instead of someone who actually knows.
        a been there done that got myself back on my feet father of four.

  • Oops sorry missed one. If you are in reciept as you claim of housing benefit at the full rate the council tax is zero, it is a legal requirement for the council as at maximum rate housing benefit central government covers the cost.
    And for non UK readers look up DWP benefits calculator, DWP mobility scheme and will show you the range of cars you get on lease and notice how many are covered by the mobilty payment of £55.55 which is the higher rate. Also note as I said the scheme includes road tax, servicing, recovery and replacement normally after 3 to 4 years.
    If to other readers I sound unsympathetic to this lady, I’m sorry but gor quite a number of years I volunteered financial and benefit advice forbthe Citizens Advice Bureau and the number of fradulant claims and cases of financial mismanagement is overwhelming. Britain spends nearly £116billion on welfare, that does not include old age state pensions, housing benefit or any medical care if any kind. A very conservative estimate conclude that over 20% is fradulent. As recently as two years ago the vast majority of disability claimants had no medical checks other than thise carried out by their own doctor. When they started doing check hundreds of thousands discontinued their claims when called up for a medical, not even bothering to turn up!
    The sheer scale of fraud not only cheats the hardworking taxpayer and adds to the burden of the low paid but it also reduces the funds available to genuine claimants.
    Having had to use the system, having worked with the system helping those in genuine need and paying into the system I am quite familiar with it.

  • Sorry to ramble on here but again for the US readers, your federal welfare program costs @ $500 billion a year. By comparison the UK spends $186 billion at today’s exchange rate. Yet the US has FIVE times our population. Niether country can sustain such spending in the long term yet across the board governments refuse to get spending, on everything, under control. As Daisy continually points out there is only one end result possible and we are right to prepare!

  • The point here is avoiding malnutrition. If your food storage is full of Ritz crackers and store bought beef jerky, you are in trouble. Buying good quality organic, non GMO protein powders and vitamins/supplements in case lots, is an economical way to pack the pantry with additional nutrition. Brands such as Garden of Life Raw Meal satisfy hunger, sustain energy, support your immune and digestive systems. The shelf life is only 1-2 years, so you have to keep rotating your stock but that should be a no brainer in the pantry anyway. If you are pumping your body with this now, you’ll be ahead of the game in the long run.

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