WALES is in the grip of a "nutrition recession" where rising food prices and shrinking incomes mean we are eating more processed food and less fruit and veg, experts have warned.
A detailed study into the grocery-buying habits across the UK shows the consumption of fat, sugar and saturates has soared since 2010.
One of the Breadline Britain study's headlines was that in the space of two years some 900,000 fewer people are managing their "five-a-day" because of food poverty.
Diet experts say that if the pattern continues, the nation faces a health timebomb — with regular consumption of processed foods leading to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
The study showed the overall volume of food bought in the UK had remained roughly static but that consumption of products like instant noodles, coated chicken, meat balls, tinned pies, baked beans, pizza and fried food has grown.
They were said to be particularly popular in households with an income of £25,000 or less, as hard-up families choose to pick products perceived to be more "filling" and cheaper.
Sioned Quirke, a leading specialist dietitian in South West Wales, said: "We have seen a massive rise in people buying convenience foods because they are so available they seem like they are quite cheap, although nutritionally they are not that good.
"For years it has been a misconception, not a reality, that fruit and vegetables and healthy foods are expensive. They are not. You can bulk-buy fruit and veg — you can buy a pack of apples for £1 and a pack of biscuits for £1."