Charities in the UK have warned that low-income families may not be able to safely feed their babies because of the high prices of infant formula. The prevalence of UK child malnutrition is alarming.
Increasing rates of UK child malnutrition
UK child malnutrition is very serious. According to the analysis of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the cost of powdered milk has increased in this country in the last year, so that the price of even the cheapest brand of this product has increased by 22%. The charity organization Feed has announced that families who are unable to provide enough formula for their babies have resorted to drinking this product or giving their babies unsuitable food such as porridge.
Providing coupons for pregnant British women
UK child malnutrition has become a problem. Currently, some vouchers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are given to women who are pregnant or have a young child and are an allowance for buying milk, fruit, vegetables, pulses and milk powder. However, this subsidy is not enough to provide infant formula for the first six months of their lives and its amount should be increased.
The request of charities from the UK government
UK child malnutrition is dangerous in the future. Also, the National Health Service (NHS) says that cow’s milk should not be given to children under one year of age. Milk powder is usually prepared from cow’s milk, but it is also adapted to be more compatible with babies and young children. Charities are calling on the UK government to increase the value of the allowance given to mothers from £8.50 to £10 a week for babies to more realistically support families whose babies are on formula.
UK child malnutrition due to the cost of living crisis
UK child malnutrition is due to the cost of living crisis. An official of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said: “We know that families experiencing food poverty resort to unsafe feeding methods, such as stretching out time between feeds and watering down formula. The government cannot stand by as babies are placed at risk of malnutrition and serious illness due to the cost of living crisis and the soaring price of infant formula.”
Significant increase in malnourished children
UK child malnutrition has increased dramatically. Michelle Herd, a co-founder of the baby bank AberNecessities, based in north-east Scotland, said: “We have seen an enormous increase in referrals for parents struggling to feed their little ones due to the soaring prices of formula milk.” According to guardian, she also said: “We need to make sure that infant formula is available to families who need it, whether that be through food banks and baby banks. In addition, the government must investigate rising costs, particularly for vital products such as infant formula.”
Food crisis and the risk of starvation in UK
UK child malnutrition is affected by the global food crisis. The beginning of the food crisis and the risk of hunger in the world has caused countries to look for the correct policy on food. According to The Food Foundation, this crisis has caused 2.6 million children in UK to suffer from malnutrition. New research shows that more than half of black children in the UK struggle with poverty, and black children are twice as likely to fall into poverty as white children.
The increase in the number of poor children in UK
UK child malnutrition is directly related to the increase in poverty. The Guardian published the results of the analysis of official statistics revealed in the British Labor Party investigation and added that this investigation was based on government statistics about families with relatively low incomes. In the last decade, the number of black children in poor families has increased, although this increase can be partly explained by the overall increase in the population of this group.
Structural racism in British society
The proportion of black children living in poor families in the UK rose from 42% between 2010 and 2011 to 53% between 2019 and 2020. The Labor Party has provided the Guardian with the results of this investigation and described it as evidence of the Conservative Party’s lack of competence and denial of the existence of structural racism in UK society. Labor leader Keir Starmer has vowed to pass new gender inequality legislation in parliament if he wins again.
Classification of British poor children
According to this report, in 2019 and 2020, 4,300,000 children under the age of 16 or between the ages of 16 and 19 lived in poor families. These people made up 31% of the British children’s population consisting of 14 million people. Child poverty varied among different ethnic families. This research showed 9 categories of poor children, among them Bangladeshi children were the poorest and 61% of them lived in poor families. Pakistani children (55%), African or Caribbean children (53%), other ethnicities (51%), other Asians (50%), mixed ethnicities (32%), Indians (27%), white Pakistanis (26%) and Chinese were in the next ranks.
The impact of poverty on children in UK
Among some ethnic groups, children are now just as likely to live in poverty as they were a decade ago, the statistics showed. In 2010 and 2011, 61% of Bangladeshi children lived in poor families. The probability of Indian children living in a poor family has increased from 34% to 27% compared to a decade ago.
Reducing poverty among white British children
This figure for Chinese children has decreased from 47% to 12%. But for white children, the probability that they live in a poor family has increased from 24% to 26% compared to a decade ago. This index has jumped from 50% to 55% for Pakistani children and from 42% to 53% for black children.
Increase in child poverty in the last decade
Anneliese Dodds, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, whose office released the latest statistics, said the Conservatives should be ashamed of what was revealed. Child poverty has increased over the past decade and Conservative secretaries have done little to tackle structural inequality.
UK child malnutrition is against the guidelines of health institutions. NHS guidelines recommend that children be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their lives, while official figures show that most babies in this country are only partially or fully fed formula until six to eight weeks of age. The largest food bank chains currently have policies that prevent their food banks from redistributing food aid.