Debates about how to set minimum income standards for health and general well‐being are very current in Britain. Family budget standards remain popular but the results can be criticized for being little more than abstractions. They are to an extent ‘artificial’ and this raises questions about their ‘real adequacy’. Another way to operationalize adequacy of income, in a lived sense, is to consider the household income levels at which a specified, desirable, healthy standard of living is in fact achieved, indicated here by diet and nutrition. Data are taken from the United Kingdom's Expenditure and Food Survey; the sample has been restricted to an older population, and three years of data (2002–5) provided a combined sample of 4,300 households. The study findings and semi‐normative poverty lines are critically discussed in relation to the national UK policy context as well as the international research literature on poverty measurement.
- social surveys