MORE Wiganers than ever are suffering from malnutrition as a result of worsening food poverty, experts have warned.
According to the latest statistics cases of malnutrition have nearly doubled in the past five years and could increase dramatically in the months to come.
Figures revealed that 23 people were diagnosed with malnutrition in Wigan borough in 2013 after being admitted to hospital. The number was only 13 in 2008.
Experts now say that in the last 12 months the national picture has seen a 19 per cent increase in the number of people diagnosed with malnutrition in 2014.
The Faculty of Public Health said conditions like rickets were becoming more apparent because people could not afford quality food in their diet.
Vice-president of the FPH, John Middleton, said food-related ill health was getting worse “through extreme poverty and the use of food banks”.
“It’s getting worse because people can’t afford good quality food. It’s getting worse where malnutrition, rickets and other manifestations of extreme poor diet are becoming apparent,” he said. The FPH recently claimed that UK food prices had risen by 12 per cent since 2007. It also noted that in the same period, UK workers had suffered a 7.6 per cent fall in wages.
Separately, numerous schemes have been running throughout the summer holidays to help families feed their children.
Dr Tim Dalton, local GP and Chair of Wigan Borough CCG said: “Thankfully people suffering from malnutrition is uncommon in Wigan borough, although we do see people in our GP surgeries with health conditions that arise from poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle.
“We also know that it can also be difficult for older people with long-term health conditions to maintain eating healthily. However, help is available for everyone so please remember that your local GP Practice isn’t just for when you feel ill, we can also provide help and advice.”