More fruit and veg needed in UK diet

The UK population continues to consume too much saturated fat and not enough fruit, vegetables, and fibre, the latest figures from the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey2 show.

Only 31% of adults, 32% of 65-74 year- olds and 8% of teenagers meet the ‘5 a Day’ recommendation for fruit and vegetables, while average fibre intake in adults is 19g per day, well below the recommended 30g per day.

The average saturated fat intake for adults (19-64 year olds) is 12.5% of daily calorie intake, above the 11% recommended maximum.

However, the data, collected from 2014 to 2016, show that the amount of sugar being by children and teenagers is falling, although it is still substantially higher than recommended amounts.

Sugar makes up 13.5% of 4-10 year-olds, and 14.1% of teenagers’ (11-18 year-olds) daily calorie intake respectively. The official recommendation is to limit sugar to no more than 5%.

But 4-10 year-olds are consuming two thirds of the amount of sugary drinks they did 8 years ago – down from 130g per day in 2008 to 2010 to 83g in 2014 to 2016. For teenagers, whose intake is more than double that of younger children (191g), sugary drinks remain the main source of sugar (22%) in their diets, even though consumption has decreased by 30%..

The Survey is designed to collect detailed information on the food consumption and nutritional status of those aged 1.5 years and over living in private households. It covers a representative sample of around 1,000 people per year. 

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