Low incomes are associated with poorer diet quality and poorer dietary health. People experiencing poverty find themselves unable to afford enough food, and the food that they can afford is often poor quality, energy dense and low in nutrients. However, not everyone on a low income has a poor diet. There are different types of poverty. Recession, welfare policy, employment trends, and widening inequality have created more uncertainty for those on low incomes. Uncertainty, as a particular aspect of poverty, can make all aspects of household food provisioning more difficult, especially, food shopping, meal planning and food storage. Uncertainty is a destructive feature of contemporary experiences of poverty that goes beyond being on a low-income. It means that people tend to have less control over events around them and are obliged to live more in the present and discount the future.
The social determinants of health (SDH) are the material and social conditions that shape people’s lives and health. These include factors such as income, housing, education, and welfare. Chronic uncertainty around the SDH undermines efforts to achieve a healthy diet because it leaves people unable to plan and constantly dealing with crises and problems. It also means that more people on low-incomes are relying on food banks and donated and surplus food. This is not a new problem, but it is a growing one. Healthcare professionals have long raised concerns about the corrosive health impacts of chronic uncertainty in terms of ‘chaotic lives’, ‘complex contexts’, and a ‘lack of stability’. Dietary health can be compromised by coping strategies people on low-incomes have to adopt to mitigate chronic uncertainty. These strategies often necessitate opting for cheap and filling food that requires little preparation and has a long shelf-life. Unfortunately, such foods tend to be high in salt, fat and sugar and low in nutrients. Interventions to improve dietary health need to address poverty and uncertainty.
What will I learn?
- Understand the different types of poverty and SDH impact on diet
- Look at the concerns to healthcare professionals have raised about chronic uncertainty
- Analyse the dietary health patterns that may be adopted as coping strategies to mitigate chronic uncertainty
- Lectures 2
- Quizzes 0
- Duration Lifetime access
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 191
- Certificate Yes
- Assessments Yes