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25 July 2012
Latest findings from an ongoing diet survey have revealed teenagers are still failing to eat their five-a-day, with no real improvement on last year's results.
The updated statistics from the Department of Health's National Diet and Nutrition Survey show 11- to 18-year-old boys consume on average 3 portions of fruit and veg a day, while girls consume an average of 2.8 portions. Last year the figures stood at 3.1 and 2.7 respectively.
The latest results show only 11 per cent of boys and 8 per cent of girls in this age group met the five-a-day recommendation. Other key findings of the survey included:
Tracy Parker, Dietitian at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said:“It's disappointing that a year on there has been no real improvement in the number of young people eating their five-a-day. Fruit and vegetables help young minds and bodies develop and should be an integral part of any teenager's diet.
“It's not just young people though – all age groups are failing to clear the five-a-day bar. The nation is consuming too much saturated fat and too many people have high cholesterol - a major risk factor for heart and circulatory disease.
“We've all got a part to play to ensure next year's results are much more promising. It's important that shoppers are able to see what's in the food they're buying and the industry should introduce traffic light colours on all food labels to lend a hand to busy parents.”
The BHF is urging the Government to recommend a consistent food labelling scheme which includes front-of-pack traffic lights colours, guideline daily amounts and the words 'high', 'medium' and 'low', as part of an ongoing consultation on food labels.
Learn more and respond to the consultation at bhf.org.uk/foodlabelling.