UK adults aren’t eating enough fruit and veg, says health charity

This Diabetes Week (June 11 - 17, 2017), Diabetes UK is promoting its ‘Food you love’ healthy eating campaign. However a survey commissioned by the charity suggests many people aren’t eating the recommended amount of fruit and veg.

66 percent of adults eat three or fewer portions of fruit and veg a day – well below the recommended five portions – and 46 percent won’t eat any fruit at least three days a week.

Diabetes UK describes the results of the survey as ‘a huge cause for concern’, since a healthy diet is important for everyone, including those who are living with diabetes. The survey also discovered that three quarters of people don’t know how big a portion of vegetables is, and two thirds don’t realise what a portion of fruit is (whether fruit or veg, a portion is 80g, which is the equivalent of about three heaped tablespoons of vegetables or a handful of fruit, such as an apple or pear).

Other findings from the research that cover attitudes to healthy eating include:

  • Two thirds of people don’t know baked beans could contain up to 5tsp of sugar.
  • Two thirds of people have no idea how much sugar is in ketchup or salad cream.
  • 58 percent of people say they want to eat more vegetables, but 23 percent say they’re too expensive, 16 percent say they tend to go off, nine percent say they take too long to prepare and five percent say they’re too messy to eat.

The survey also confirms that diabetes can affect anyone, with most people – 59 percent – knowing someone who has the disease.

Millions affected

“These survey results are a huge cause for concern when you recognise the fact that in the UK, 3.6 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes and 11.9 million people are at an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes,” says Emma Elvin, clinical advisor for Diabetes UK.

“Simple lifestyle changes can also massively reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. We know that obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, with two in three people in the UK being overweight or obese. But three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by maintaining a health weight, eating well and being active.”

The charity’s ‘Food you love’ campaign aims to inspire everyone to eat more healthily by sharing recipes featuring the food you love, only healthier. With tips that aim to inspire more people to make small changes that can make a big difference, the campaign is supported by chefs including Jamie Oliver, Prue Leith, ‘Deliciously’ Ella and Angela Hartnett.

Diabetes UK recommends eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, some wholegrain carbohydrates, lean protein and low-fat, low-sugar dairy foods, and reducing the amount of saturated fat, sugar and salt in your diet.

If you want to receive free recipe videos, sign up at before July 30, 2017.

Do you have a question about managing your diabetes? Your local Careway pharmacist can help – and in most cases, you won’t need an appointment. Find your nearest Careway pharmacy by using our Pharmacy Finder.