We all like to assume we know what constitutes a well-balanced diet, and how to act and think healthily for ourselves. Yet diet-related diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, are increasingly becoming a burden for the UK. According to data from WHO Global Health Observatory, the UK has significantly higher levels of obesity compared to other European countries.
As we all know, a healthy diet correlates to good health, so how do the Brits think they are measuring up?
We polled the general public to rate how healthily they think Brits eat and drink. The average number was 5 out of 10.
One member of the public pointed to the number being low due to the amount of fast food in the UK, such as the chains that dominate our high streets, like McDonalds and Subway. Others commented on how, given the current economic climate, fast food is the cheaper option which makes it more appealing.
On the flip side, when we asked individuals how healthily they believed that they ate, the average was a little higher at 6 out of 10.
Members of the public believe that they eat healthy for the most part because they are conscious of what they put in their bodies; but they do have cheat meals, binge eat or opt to eat out instead of choosing to cook a healthy meal at home.
One person claimed that COVID has had a significant impact on their health decline and that after being isolated, they saw an increase in their craving for sugar and a more relaxed attitude towards drinking alcohol.
So, how can we support healthy eating? As an example, we inquired about the public’s consumption of fish. Poultry and fish sales have more than doubled since the 1970s, demonstrating that health-conscious British customers prefer leaner meats such as fish and chicken. Fish is a good source of protein since people are aware of the vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids it contains.
However, as a result of climate change, our relationship with a reliable supply of fish may shift. One person mentioned that seafood should be sourced sustainably, which is crucial to remember as sea pollution is on the rise.
The next national diet and nutrition survey will be issued in 2024, and it will highlight data on our food consumption. While it’s difficult to determine whether it’s improved or not, COVID is likely to have had an impact on Brtis’ nutrition and health.