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Saturday, June 13, 1998 Published at 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK


'Gazza-style diets' put Geordies at risk

The CRC are not impressed by Paul Gascoigne

Soccer star Paul Gascoigne is under attack once again for his unhealthy eating habits.

Now the Cancer Research Campaign (CRC) has singled out Gazza for setting a bad example to fellow Geordies.

The charity says his keenness for lager and kebabs is shared by many people in the North East who continue to ignore the best dietary advice.

A new survey for the Campaign showed people in Newcastle and the surrounding area were twice as likely to eat an unhealthy junk-food diet than southerners.

Cavalier attitude

Professor Gordon McVie, Director General of the CRC, said: "Gazza's cavalier attitude towards his diet only demonstrates the uphill struggle we face in changing the eating habits of the rest of us ordinary folks."

[ image: We should all increase our intake of fruit and veg]
We should all increase our intake of fruit and veg
The survey was to discover what people knew about the role of diet in reducing bowel cancer. The results showed that 41% still did not realise that eating plenty of cereal fibre, fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of the disease by half.

And, despite 19,000 deaths each year in the UK, people in the North East were least aware that bowel cancer was a major cause of death. Only nine per cent knew the extent of the problem, compared to the most aware region, the Midlands, which scored 22%.

Cancer prevention

The Cancer Research Campaign has teamed up with cereal manufacturers Kellogg's to promote a £1m campaign to raise awareness of bowel cancer prevention.

They have the backing of Prime Minister Tony Blair and football legend Alan Ball - one of the stars of England's 1966 World Cup winning team.

Mr Ball, manager of Division One club Portsmouth, said: "We knew, even 30 years ago, that the winning formula was a balanced diet; plenty of fruit, veg and fibre. My top tip for future England hopefuls is give yourself a sporting chance by keeping your eye on your diet as well as the ball."

The NOP survey was commissioned before Glenn Hoddle's controversial decision to drop an unfit Paul Gascoigne from the England World Cup squad. The player had been widely criticised in the media for his eating, drinking and smoking habits.

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