Healthy food choices may not be predominantly affected by wealth, suggests a poll that shows low and high income earners tend to eat a similar diet.
In the past it has been proposed that deprived families have restricted choices and poor cooking skills, which prevent them from eating healthily.
But a Food Standards Agency survey of 3,5000 people shows the gap between low and high income diets is not that wide.
The Food Standard Agency Head of Nutrition Rosemary Hignett thinks the survey is “encouraging” showing that most people of low income have the confidence to cook, reasonable kitchen facilities and access to large supermarkets.
But she adds: “The bad news is that this group – like the general population – are not eating as healthily as they could be.”
The survey shows both low and high income earners do not eat enough fruit, vegetables or oily fish but eat too much saturated fat and sugar.
“Small changes to diet can make a big difference to health so we urge everyone to think about the food that they and their family are eating,” says Hignett.
The Food Standards Agency is to use this survey to develop its diet and nutrition policy.