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Malnutrition Hospital Admissions Rise in Cornwall

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4:46pm 15th January 2014

The number of people admitted to hospital in Cornwall starving - is revealed.

Figures seen by Pirate FM show almost 120 were treated for malnutrition last year.

Reverend Mike Firbank helps run the Camborne, Pool and Redruth foodbank: "I know parents not eating every other say so that their children can eat every day.

"We know from headteachers that we've got working families unable to pay their nursery bills or unable to buy food that month because the cost of living has just not stopped rising.

"Whichever charity we go to, whether it's the Samaritans talking about increase in attempted suicide or whether we go to the Red Cross and they talk about the fact they're collecting food parcels in Britain for the first time since the Second World War, all of the figures show people are really struggling with basic necessities of life."

The figures have risen from 68 being treated five years ago to almost 120 last year.

This GP reckons there are many more who are on the brink: "I do come across families who are struggling to appropriately feed their children and particularly fresh fruit and vegetables; it's expensive. They're coming to us and we're not necessarily seeing the physical effects of malnutrition at this stage, but they are struggling."

Researcher Charles Davis tells us nationally, the figures are the tip of the iceberg: "Many, particularly elderly households, will be faced with that choice of do they miss a meal or do they cut back on their food spending or do they look to not put on their heating and that is the reality for, we think, between one and one and a half million households."

4:46pm 15th January 2014

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