Two Thirds of Adults Eat Three or Fewer Portions of Fruit and Veg Each Day Raising Risk of Diabetes, Warn ExpertsPosted: June 12, 2017
By Sarah Knapton, science editor
12 JUNE 2017 • 12:01AM
Two thirds of adults eat three or fewer portions of fruit and vegetables each day, with nearly 12 million at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, health experts have warned.
Diabetes UK said the five-a-day message was still not getting across and warned that the lack of healthy eating in Britain was a ‘huge cause for concern.’
A survey commissioned by the charity found that 66 per cent of adults only eat three or fewer portions of fruit and veg each day, with three quarters still confused about what constitutes a ‘portion.’
Nearly half of people do not eat fruit at least three days of the week.
There are 3.6 million people already living with diabetes in Britain, 90 per cent of whom have Type 2. The charity has warned that 11.9 million people are at increased risk of developing the condition, but three in five cases of diabetes could be avoided if people changed their lifestyles.
Three our of five cases of diabetes could be avoided if people made lifestyle changes CREDIT: ANTHONY DEVLIN
Helen Dickens, Head of Prevention at Diabetes UK, said: “Everybody knows they should be eating ‘five a day’ and yet this survey suggests that this message simply isn’t getting through.
“It’s alarming to learn that the vast majority of people are still a long way off eating enough fruit and vegetables.
“Not only that, but people don’t know how much fruit and vegetables they should be eating“Three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be avoided or delayed by making simple lifestyle changes, and a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle play a big part in this. Healthy eating is equally important for people living with diabetes as well as preventing Type 2.”
The survey, which was commissioned ahead of Diabetes Week which runs until Saturday June 17, also showed that people are unaware of the hidden sugars in many staple foods. Two thirds of people did not know that a tin of baked beans can contain up to five teaspoons of sugar.
Nearly one third of people add salt to food before even tasting it, even though too much salt is linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
Nearly six in ten people said they wanted to eat more vegetables but 23 per cent thought they were too expensive, while 16 per cent said they tend to go off too quickly and nearly one in 10 people say it took too long to prepare.
The charity called on the government to do more to prevent junk food being marketed to children.
One in three children are overweight or obese by the time they get to year 11
A record percentage of children now have weight problems with one in three overweight or obese, by the time they leave primary school at the age of 10 or 11, increasing the risk of diabetes.
Emma Elvin, Clinical Advisor for Diabetes UK, added, “These survey results are a huge cause for concern.
“Simple lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet, eating more fruit and vegetables and getting more exercise are an important part of managing all types of diabetes and can
reduce the risk of serious of long term complications such as blindness, amputations and even early death.”
Diabetes UK has embarked on a new ‘Food you love’ campaign which is providing healthier recipes of favourite dishes to inspire people to make small changes.