English diet 'can help save lives'
Published 03/11/2011 | 02:02
Thousands of lives could be saved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland every year if people adopted the English diet, according to new research.
Eight out of 10 unnecessary deaths from cancer, heart disease and stroke in Wales and Northern Ireland could be prevented if people ate the "average" diet in England.
Four out of 10 preventable deaths from the same causes could also be prevented in Scotland, according to the study published in the British Medical Journal.
The research showed that people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland consistently eat more calories, more fat and more salt than those living in England, and fewer fruit and vegetables.
Analysis of diets between 2007 and 2009 found that, on average, people in Scotland and Northern Ireland also ate 7.5g of salt daily compared with 7g in England, while those in Wales ate 7.4g.
Salt increases blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Those in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales also ate more fat and saturated fat and less fruit.
People in Scotland ate about 951g of vegetables a week, while those in Northern Ireland ate 902g, compared with 1,190g in England.
Experts from the University of Oxford and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford also looked at 10 cancers associated with diet, including those of the gullet, bowel and stomach.
They noted that death rates for heart disease, stroke and cancer are higher in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland than they are in England.