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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 July, 2003, 04:03 GMT 05:03 UK
Britons still eating 'bad' fats
Pizza
Food like pizza loaded with cheese is full of saturated fat
Britons are eating too many potentially harmful fats despite health warnings against them.

A government report has found the nation is consuming too much saturated fat which has been linked to heart disease and certain cancers.

Experts say our daily diets should not be more than 11% saturated fat.

But the survey of 1,700 adults found the fats were making up 13.4% of men's diets and 13.2% of women's.

Of that, a quarter comes from milk and cheese, followed by meat and meat products (22%), then pizza, bread, biscuits and cakes (18%).

Despite the findings, the report found people were close to the recommended level for the various types of fat in food added together.

Less reassuring was the amount of alcohol being consumed by young drinkers.

Fifty-four per cent of men aged 19 to 24 said they drank more than 21 units a week despite advice not to have more than three to four units of alcohol a day (21 to 28 units a week).

What a tragedy that Britons are still failing to eat a healthy diet
Tim Lobstein
The Food Commission

Half the younger women drinkers in the survey had more than 14 units a week.

It is recommended that women should not have more then two to three units a day (14 to 21 units a week).

A unit of alcohol is equivalent to half a pint of beer, a single measure of spirits or a glass of wine.

A third of young men in the poll said they drank more than the recommended four units on one day a week, while 26% of younger women said the same.

RECOMMENDED LIMITS
Saturated fat - 11%
Alcohol women - 14 to 21 units a week
Alcohol men - 21 to 28 units a week

Just 5% of men and 10% of women said they never touched alcohol, according to the results.

The survey was commissioned by the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health and was carried out between July 2000 and June 2001.

Tim Lobstein, director of healthy eating campaign group The Food Commission, said: "What a tragedy that Britons are still failing to eat a healthy diet.

"But it is not individuals' choice. You have to lay blame with the industry for heavily promoting fatty foods and government policies that fail to stop them."

Lee Lixenberg, of Alcohol Concern, said: "These results confirm what a number of recent studies have shown.

"People who regularly drink over the recommended limits and are regularly binge drinking are storing up health problems for themselves in later life."


SEE ALSO:
Overweight children 'risk health'
03 Jun 03  |  Northern Ireland
'Fat gene' discovery
18 Apr 03  |  Health
Obesity is 'health timebomb' - MP
22 Jan 03  |  Politics
'Ban bumper food portions'
21 Jan 03  |  Health



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