The ‘cost of living crisis’ is damaging our health
Our health and wellbeing is influenced by many different factors, ranging from our education and employment to housing and our community.
Some of these factors, known as health determinants, are partly explained by our genetic makeup or how accessible local health facilities and programmes are to us, whilst others are strongly associated with our health behaviours.
Social and economic conditions can also prevent us from changing our health behaviours, and can even reinforce behaviours that damage our health. This is especially the case in today’s economic climate, where the “cost of living crisis” has been shown to be particularly deleterious to those from lower socio-economic groups, exacerbating existing health inequalities and having the greatest impact on the poor and the vulnerable. Press release on this issue from the Royal College of Physicians.
As budgets get squeezed due to higher energy bills, many have commented on how rising food prices, especially for fresh and less processed foods, have resulted in many turning to cheaper, but less nutritious options, or cutting back on food completely or even skipping meals – more information from The Food Foundation. The knock-on effect of rising prices has also been reported in the sport and fitness sectors as illustrated by this recent BBC article.
We have no way of foretelling how protracted or how severe this crisis will be, but what is certain is that many will need help with their health and fitness.