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UK: Only one in 13 teenage girls eats enough fruit and veg

22/7/11 www.dailymail.com

Teenage girls face a lifetime of poor health because they are not eating enough fruit and vegetables, experts have warned.

Girls making fruit smoothie in kitchen: Only one in 13 teenage girls eats enough fruit and veg

Only one in 13 teenage girls eats enough fruit and veg Photo: ALAMY
 One in 13 girls aged 11 to 18 consume five-a-day, with the average intake being 2.7 portions daily, according to the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

Almost half (44%) of teenage girls are also not getting enough iron in their diet, showed the data published by the Department of Health.

Boys aged 11 to 18 are also lacking essential vitamins and nutrients, with just one in eight (13%) eating five a day, with the average number of portions being 3.1.

In adulthood, the number begins to rise, with around one in three adults eating five a day, the analysis of more than 2,000 adults and children showed.

The average number of portions was 4.2 among under-65s and 4.4 for those over 65.

Nevertheless, experts are concerned about adult consumption of saturated fat, with those aged 19 to 64 eating a tenth more than recommended levels.

Most people are also not getting enough oily fish, the survey drawn from interviews, diaries and blood and urine samples found.

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, warned that poor eating habits in childhood can increase problems in later life, such as heart disease and some cancers.

She said: ”It is really important that teenagers eat a balanced diet – including eating five portions of fruit and veg a day.

”Eating well and being active can help prevent serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease later in life.”

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