[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 11 March, 2005, 10:52 GMT
Experts warn over 'healthy' diets
Five portions of fruit and vegetables a day are recommended
Experts recommend a "balanced diet with room for naughties"
London's "highly competitive" culture is being blamed for people taking dieting to dangerous extremes.

Catherine Collins, chief dietician at St George's Hospital in Tooting, south London, says the craze of "healthy" diets is doing more harm than good.

People are consumed with being the "fittest and the healthiest", she said.

One patient who was admitted to St George's with malnutrition, had been eating more than 50 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Mrs Collins said people are cutting out key foods, such as dairy, wheat and protein, which the body needs.

Alternative health

She said the reasons people take on these diets include greater awareness of diets and nutrition, to alleviate chronic health complaints and a fear of disease.

People have a positive association with being fit and healthy and it also promotes self esteem, she added.

Mrs Collins said "healthy" dieting tended to be confined to cities as in the countryside there was less of a preoccupation about food.

"Taken to the extreme, 'healthy' eating can make people feel unwell by excluding the foods they need," she said.

She recommended a balanced diet which has "room for naughties".

Mrs Collins also blamed a booming unregulated alternative health industry for the increase in such diets.




SEE ALSO:
Fresh drive for veg in city ward
10 Mar 05 |  South West Wales
Are vegan diets harmful for children?
23 Feb 05 |  Have Your Say
Healthy school meals
20 Feb 05 |  Breakfast with Frost
Getting personal on lifestyles
17 Nov 04 |  Magazine


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific