One in five British families had to borrow money or use saving to cover food costs in April, a new survey showed on Sunday.
The British consumer group Which? found in its monthly consumer insight tracker survey that some 5 million British households need to use credit or savings to cover their spending on food in April.
The survey discovered that many of the families using credit and savings to pay for food are low-income.
"They are likely to be financially vulnerable and are typically aged 30-49 years old with children. Nearly half of these families are on the lowest incomes, earning 21,000 pounds (32,684 U.S. dollars) or less per year," said Which?.
"With food prices rising last year, it isn't surprising that shoppers tell us that the cost of food is one of their top three worries," it said.
According to the survey, eight in 10 of the struggling households say they are worried about food prices.
More than half say they plan to cut back spending on food in the coming months. However, others feel they are not able to cut back when trying to feed their households.
Two-thirds were worried about the effects of low interest rates on their savings, although insolvency experts have credited low interest rates with helping people's borrowing costs and keeping personal insolvencies down.
The consumer group found that almost one third, or 31 percent, of people surveyed cut back spending on essentials last month, mainly women aged between 30 to 49 years old.
Over two thirds, or 68 percent, described the state of the economy as poor, with just 9 percent saying it was good.
"I was shocked by these findings. I didn't realize so many people can't afford to cover their monthly food bill, said Which? executive director Richard Lloyd.
Around 2,000 people across Britain took part in the survey, which was carried out last month.