Survey: Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Skipped Meals, Didn’t Buy Groceries Due to High Inflation

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Nearly one in five Americans have skipped meals or did not buy groceries due to surging inflation, including 28 percent of Gen Z and 23 percent of millennials, according to a recent survey.

Seventeen percent of respondents said they were receiving food items from a food bank, including 22 percent of millennials, while 17 said they have stopped buying healthier food options. Eighteen percent said they had skipped meals or did not buy groceries.

Beyond facing food insecurity, the same survey also found that high inflation is forcing Americans to delay certain healthcare expenses. Fourteen percent of Americans have canceled or postponed plans to see a healthcare specialist, ten percent have delayed taking prescribed medication, and 11 percent stalled receiving a yearly physical.

“As the price of health care and basic necessities continue to reach record highs, Americans have been forced to make tough decisions that sacrifice their health and wellbeing,” said Kristi Rodriguez, senior vice president of the Nationwide Retirement Institute, which commissioned the survey.

“While these decisions are understandable and challenging, making short-term tradeoffs may have long-term impacts,” Rodriguez continued.

The survey results continue to highlight how Americans are struggling to get by in the current economy under President Joe Biden, as prices for food and consumer goods have soared paired with rising interest rates.

Grocery prices have climbed 13 percent from a year ago, rising 0.7 percent from August to September. Since last year, egg prices have skyrocketed by 30 percent, dairy-related products are up by 15.9 percent, bread is up by 14.7 percent, and butter is up by 26.6 percent.

Prices overall have soared by 8.2 percent since last year, rising 0.4 percent between August and September. Core inflation — not including food and energy prices — is up by 6.6 percent since a year ago, the highest it has been in 40 years.

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Nationwide, which surveyed 1,140 U.S. adults between August 26 and September 8, 2022.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.


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