The impact of the cost of living crisis and food insecurity on food purchasing behaviours and food preparation practices in people living with obesity.



Stone, Rebecca A ORCID: 0000-0002-8910-8792, Brown, Adrian, Douglas, Flora, Green, Mark A ORCID: 0000-0002-0942-6628, Hunter, Emma, Lonnie, Marta, Johnstone, Alexandra M, Hardman, Charlotte A ORCID: 0000-0002-0744-6019 and FIO-Food Team
(2024) The impact of the cost of living crisis and food insecurity on food purchasing behaviours and food preparation practices in people living with obesity. Appetite, 196. 107255-.

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Abstract

Lower income households are at greater risk of food insecurity and poor diet quality than higher income households. In high-income countries, food insecurity is associated with high levels of obesity, and in the UK specifically, the cost of living crisis (i.e., where the cost of everyday essentials has increased quicker than wages) is likely to have exacerbated existing dietary inequalities. There is currently a lack of understanding of the impact of the current UK cost of living crisis on food purchasing and food preparation practices of people living with obesity (PLWO) and food insecurity, however this knowledge is critical in order to develop effective prevention and treatment approaches to reducing dietary inequalities. Using an online survey (N = 583) of adults residing in England or Scotland with a body mass index (BMI) of ≥30 kg/m<sup>2</sup>, participants self-reported on food insecurity, diet quality, perceived impact of the cost of living crisis, and their responses to this in terms of food purchasing behaviours and food preparation practices. Regression analyses found that participants adversely impacted by the cost of living crisis reported experiencing food insecurity. Additionally, food insecurity was associated with use of specific purchasing behaviours (i.e., use of budgeting, use of supermarket offers) and food preparation practices (i.e., use of energy-saving appliances, use of resourcefulness). Exploratory analyses indicated that participants adversely impacted by the cost of living crisis and who used budgeting had low diet quality, whereas use of meal planning was associated with high diet quality. These findings highlight the fragility of food budgets and the coping strategies used by PLWO and food insecurity during the cost of living crisis. Policy measures and interventions are urgently needed that address the underlying economic factors contributing to food insecurity, to improve access to and affordability of healthier foods for all.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: FIO-Food Team
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Population Health
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2024 08:53
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 07:49
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2024.107255
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3178537