Food and Behaviour Research

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20 October 2014 - The Independent - Three main parties attacked for their lack of ambition over 'lamentable' child poverty failure - by Government's own anti-poverty tsar

All three main Westminster parties will be condemned by the Government’s anti-poverty tsar today for their failure to improve social mobility and reduce the number of children growing up in poor families.


Lake and Chan write in their Lancet paper: "If children fail to get what they need—enough nutrition, nurturing, stimulation, and a sense of security—during the most critical years of early childhood, the impact on their lives and futures is enormous. For example, inadequate nutrition in the early years of childhood can result in stunting, which can cause diminished physical and cognitive development that undermine a child's ability to learn and earn later in life. Similarly, inadequate stimulation during the same critical period of earliest childhood can reduce learning capacity and ability to form social and emotional attachments."

see:  Lake et al, 2014 - Putting science into practice for early child development

This statement illustrates why the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commissions work is crucial - and governmental action urgently needed.

For recent related research please see:

Jones et al., 2014 - The Growing Price Gap between More and Less Healthy Foods

For more news in this area please see:

16 October 2014 - The Conversation - Children know family budgets dictate how healthy their food is

22 August 2014 - BBC News - Food poverty: Experts issue malnutrition health warning

25 July 2014 - ScienceDaily - Vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by food security, despite public programs

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, which he chairs, will accuse the parties of paying lip-service to the Government’s target to eradicate child poverty by 2020, warning that it cannot possibly be met. An estimated 3.5 million children will still be in poverty then.


Today’s report will argue that the next government will have to adopt radical new approaches if poverty is to be beaten and Britain is to avoid becoming “a permanently divided society”. It is expected to make a series of far-reaching recommendations on education, low pay, further and higher education, access to the professions and public spending.