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UK attitudes towards fruit and vegetables risking people’s health, warns National Charity Partnership

Most adults in the UK worry about how their diet will affect their health, but four in five are still failing to eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, a survey by the National Charity Partnership has found [1].

With rising levels of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease – two conditions associated with poor diet – the National Charity Partnership, a collaboration between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco, is urging people to take action before it is too late.

Babs Evans, Head of Prevention for the National Charity Partnership, said: “We’re concerned that if our eating habits don’t change to include more healthy options like fruit and vegetables, the UK is heading towards a major health crisis.

“More than four million people in the UK already have Type 2 diabetes and around seven million live with heart and circulatory disease. Millions more are at risk of these potentially life-threatening conditions, but this doesn’t have to be the case.”

The survey commissioned by the National Charity Partnership, which interviewed 2,000 people across the UK, discovered that adults eat, on average, less than three daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Many (41 per cent) consume only one or two portions each day. Nearly one in four people interviewed (22 per cent) said they simply forget to eat more.

The partnership has published a series of 22 healthy recipes designed to boost people’s intake of fruit and vegetables in a simple and easy manner. All recipes are available for free through the partnership’s online motivational tool, which helps people set simple, realistic goals for a healthier lifestyle.

Ms. Evans continued: “Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease are largely preventable and a healthy diet is one way that people can reduce their risk. Even small changes like adding a little more fruit and veg to your meals – like we are suggesting with our recipes - can help to make a big difference in the long-term.”

As well as forgetting to eat more fruit and vegetables, one in five people said it costs too much money and 13 per cent said it wasn’t convenient. More than half (51 per cent) of those who were interviewed claimed they did not care about how much fruit and vegetables they ate, but more than six in ten adults (62 per cent) did worry about how their diet will affect their health.

The National Charity Partnership is working to help millions of people adopt better eating habits and look after their bodies. Its suite of recipes is part of its two-year Let's Do This campaign, which aims to support adults to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease by taking small steps towards healthier lifestyles.

The partnership is also investing in healthy eating initiatives in six areas of the UK where families are most in need of support. Its Holiday Lunch Clubs are helping thousands of people to change their lifestyle and eat a healthier diet in Nottingham, Sandwell, East London, North Lanarkshire, Belfast and Rhondda Cynon Taf in Wales.

For more information about Let’s Do This, please visit: http://www.lets-dothis.org.uk.