Some 22 per cent of Britons are compromising the quality of their meals because of the increased cost of living.
Data from PruHealth has discovered many adults are finding it hard to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day in the current economic climate.
In the past four years, 75 per cent of people have changed their shopping habits and 85 per cent said the reason for this alteration is because of the recession.
Dr Dawn Richards, head of clinical service at PruHealth, commented: "We can clearly see how people's healthy eating habits have been affected with the picture having got significantly worse since the start of the economic downturn."
In almost one-fifth of cases, parents are deliberately making sure their children have a nutritionally balanced diet at the expense of their own health.
Some 34 per cent of UK adults have cut out luxury food items, while 22 per cent have turned to shop-branded foods and 16 per cent use the reduced to clear aisle in an effort to keep the costs of food down.