Monday, 25 July 2011

Five a day

Today on my lunch break I got a meal deal from Boots. (As a side note, it is disappointing that they have raised their meal deal prices...yes it is only by 30p but £2.99 looked so much more justifiable than £3.29. Psychological pricing and all!) Anyway, I got the free July/August Boots magazine to keep me company on my lunch break and in the magazine I read this interesting fact: 5,000 lives could be saved in the UK every year if people just ate their five portions of fruit or veg a day. When I first read this I thought (1) I am definitely going to try and be better at eating fruit because I don't want to die young. (2) This is a very sweeping statistic, who even made up these figures? Oh, the British Heart Foundation and Oxford University? That makes it more plausible, and that it was researched on 15 December 2010. (3) I will have to further research this when I get home.

I've found that it was a bit of a sweeping statement to make as the research done was on a computer model which had dietary impacts placed upon it in relation to diseases to see whether factors such as eating more healthy, exercising, reducing salt intake and not smoking contributed to whether people would get a disease or die. Because this research was just done using a model it involved 'a considerable degree of estimation of the effect that an intervention (in this case dietary change) will have on the overall level of disease in a population.' (source)

I feel somewhat disappointed that the interesting fact that shocked me proved to not be as interesting as I thought. Yes, the research done by BHF and Oxford University is very intricate and with good intentions but it just seems to be something that people should already understand, as surely they know that by living a healthier lifestyle they are going to increase their chances at living for longer? 'Overall, this study supports current dietary recommendations and even though it cannot predict how diet influences risk for individuals, it does indicate that keeping to dietary recommendations reduces the risk of disease.'(source)

However, this interesting fact did not stop me from eating a satsuma when I got home and feel mighty proud of myself that I had just somehow decreased my chances of dying young. One of the things that emerged from the study was probably that eating five portions of fruit and veg a day is actually fairly important to our wellbeing. I know that I am probably one of the worse eaters of fruit (not veg though, I love my veg!) and do need to improve on this. This seems to be a problem nationally though as 'Our statistics show that only around a third of UK adults consume the recommended amount of fruit and veg each day.' (source)

Fruit for Double Rainbow Pancakes

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