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Campaigners raise questions over halted taskforce as hygiene poverty triples

BMJ 2023; 381 doi: (Published 02 May 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;381:p985
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The number of UK adults living in hygiene poverty, unable to afford to buy items such as toothpaste and period products, has tripled in the past year, from an estimated three million to nine million, the charity In Kind Direct has said.1

The charity has warned of a “hidden hygiene poverty crisis,” with increases in the cost of living forcing people to choose between eating, heating, and keeping clean.

In Kind Direct, which distributes donated consumer products to over 5000 charitable organisations across the UK, commissioned a representative YouGov survey of 2068 adults, which ran in February and March 2023. These data were then extrapolated to estimate the prevalence across the population.

Of those surveyed, 357 (17%) said that they had gone without a hygiene product in the past six months because they could not afford to buy them. Of those who had gone without hygiene products, …

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