Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

How hungry were the poor in late 1930s Britain?

Gazeley, Ian, Newell, Andrew, Reynolds, Kevin and Rufrancos, Hector (2021) How hungry were the poor in late 1930s Britain? Economic History Review. ISSN 0013-0117

[img] Text (How hungry were the poor in the later 1930s Britain?) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (386kB)

Identification Number: 10.1111/ehr.13079

Abstract

This article re-examines energy and nutrition available to British working-class households in the late 1930s using individual household expenditure and consumption data. We use these data to address a number of questions. First, what was the extent of malnutrition in late 1930s Britain? Second, how did the incidence change over time? Third, what were the nutritional consequences of the school meals and school milk schemes? We conclude that, for working households, energy and nutritional availability improved significantly compared with current estimates of availability before the First World War. These improvements were not equally shared, however. In the late 1930s, homes with an unemployed head of household had diets that provided around 20 per cent less energy than their working counterparts and female-headed households had diets that provided around 10 per cent fewer kcal per capita than the average male-headed household. The availability of most macro- and micronutrients showed similar relative reductions. State interventions designed to improve diet and nutrition, such as school meals and school milk, made children's diets significantly healthier, even if they did not eliminate macro- and micronutrient deficiencies completely. Not surprisingly, they made the greatest difference to children in households where the head of household was unemployed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14680289
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2021 10:00
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 03:04
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/110895

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics