Scotland’s most deprived live in food deserts

Kebab shop crop

Eight of Scotland’s 10 most deprived food deserts are in Glasgow.

Graham Martin's photo

12th October 2018 by Graham Martin 1 Comment

More than a million people live in “food deserts” – where poverty, poor public transport and a dearth of big supermarkets limit access to affordable nutrition.

A report states that almost one in 10 of the UK’s most economically deprived areas are food deserts.

These are mostly large out-of-town housing estates and inner-cities served by small, expensive corner shops and large numbers of fat food outlets.

Eight of Scotland’s 10 most deprived food deserts are in Glasgow.

The study, by the Social Market Foundation thinktank, says poor, elderly and disabled people are disproportionately affected, as they cannot afford or are physically unable to travel to large supermarkets.

Food campaigners in Scotland says this points to the need for a joined up approach to tackle the problem of food poverty.

The multi-charity Scottish Food Coalition is pushing for a good food nation bill to be passed in the Scottish Parliament.

This would aim at tackling Scotland’s connected food challenges, setting out measures to attack child poverty, obesity and the environmental impact of food production and waste.

Pete Ritchie, director of Nourish Scotland, said: “We know from Last month’s Scottish Heallth Survey figures that 28% of men and 23% of women in the lowest income bracket are food insecure.

“These households are paying a poverty premium with much higher prices and a worse food offer not just in urban convenience stores but also in rural Scotland.

“The good food nation bill has the potential to improve access to good food for all by focusing local and national action.

“Possible solutions include better use of planning powers by local councils, rates relief for small shops with healthier food offers, equal price for basics pledges or regulation across store formats, community retail and group buying schemes, and innovative low carbon distribution systems like cargo bikes in urban areas.”

15th October 2018 by Janet

‘Fat food outlets’? a Freudian slip but probably more accurate!