Blog: Dean BestFSA study on UK diets needs to be chewed over

Dean Best | 18 July 2007

I’m somewhat surprised by the – so far – lack of analysis in the UK press on the Food Standards Agency’s study into the diets of lower-income groups.

The report, issued over the weekend, has caused some surprise among industry watchers for flying in the face of perceived wisdom and claiming that nutrition and diets are not worse in poorer families.

Understandably, industry bodies rushed to proclaim that the FSA report. The British Retail Consortium, for instance, said the study was evidence that those on lower incomes can still eat healthily.

However, the FSA findings constitute a threat to all of the hard work in progress that is trying to combat rising levels of obesity in the UK.

Its conclusion that the poor do not necessarily have a poor diet could cause problems in trying to change the habits of those who eat unhealthily. And, let’s face it, that could mean a lot of the UK population; according to the FSA’s own findings, some 62% of men and 63% of women are obese.

Indeed, those bald figures seem to suggest that bad eating habits can be found right across the UK population. And that’s a conclusion that certainly leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

For more on just-food’s analysis of the study, click here.


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