Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Britons told 'make changes to diet'

The average person in the UK is not getting enough fruit, veg, oily fish and fibre, according to the survey

British people are eating far too much sugar, saturated fat and salt, health officials have warned.

The average person in the UK is exceeding recommended daily limits for these food groups and not getting enough fruit, veg, oily fish and fibre, according to the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

The survey, released by Public Health England, tracked the food consumption of 1,000 people from around the UK.

In the four years from 2008 studied, researchers found that on average both children and adults were exceeding recommended daily allowances for added sugars and saturated fats.

The survey found that three in 10 adults were meeting the "5-a-day" fruit and vegetable challenge, with even fewer youngsters aged 11 to 18 meeting the target - 10% of boys and 7% of girls in this age group had five portions of fruit and veg a day.

Average consumption of oily fish was well below the recommended one portion (140g) per week in all age groups.

Meanwhile, intakes of the majority of vitamins were adequate apart from vitamin D - which is essential for keeping teeth and bones healthy.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: "The data released today provides compelling evidence that we all need to make changes to our diet to improve our health, especially for teenagers.

"Eating a healthy, balanced diet that is high in fruit, vegetables and fibre and low in saturated fat, sugar and salt, alongside being more active, will help you to maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

"The findings, from the four years covered by the survey, confirm that eating habits do not change quickly.

"It is clear that we all need to work together to help people improve their diets; this data will help PHE to target its work in the most effective way."

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