A "toxic combination" of poor wage growth and higher food prices has led to the return of Victorian-era diseases like rickets and gout to Britain.The Faculty of Public Health (FPH), which represents doctors and health workers, links food poverty with the rise in those diseases. "It's getting worse because people can't afford good quality food," the FPH's John Middleton told the Observer newspaper. "Malnutrition, rickets and other manifestations of extreme poor diet are becoming apparent. (Doctors) are reporting rickets anecdotally in Manchester, the East End of London, Birmingham and the West Midlands. It is a condition we believed should have died out." Poverty in Britain has become a hot political topic since the global financial crisis. Wages have been consistently below the rate of inflation since 2008 there has been a rise in food banks. Rickets is caused by lack of vitamin D and calcium and affects bone development in children. Gout, a type of arthritis, can be caused by obesity and a diet rich in chemical compounds called purines found in foods like sardines and liver.
- Matt Clinch, CNBC.com
First published September 2 2014, 7:43 AM