The alarm: Public health is threatened by food prices


Published 31 March 2023 at 11.10

Domestic. Due to the increased food prices, many people buy less healthy food, according to a consumer survey from the Swedish Food Agency. According to the authority, the changed eating habits risk leading to negative effects on public health.

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I the survey answers four out of ten, regardless of income level, that they buy less fresh vegetables.

There are also clear differences between households with low and high incomes. Those with lower incomes say they opt out of fresh vegetables to a greater extent than those with higher incomes, compared to spring 2022.

– The fact that consumers say they buy less fresh vegetables is worrying. If it leads to changed eating habits, there is a risk that health will be negatively affected in the long term, says Karin Fritz, advisor at the Swedish Food Agency.

One in three say they will buy less fruit this year compared to 2022.

Fruit and vegetables reduce the risk of, among other things, obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. The advice is to eat 500 grams a day.

Consumers also answer that they buy less meat, chicken and fish.

A reduction in meat consumption among women of childbearing age and children can among otherwise lead to a risk of their iron intake being low. This applies especially if they do not replace the meat with iron-rich vegetable foods.

– So-called lifestyle diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases can increase in the long term if eating habits deteriorate. Therefore, at the Swedish Food Agency, we need to monitor how both food prices and other factors affect the way we eat and whether there may be a risk of health being negatively affected in different income groups, says Karin Fritz.