14 June 2021
Lack of veg associated with 18,000 premature UK deaths a year
A NEW report reveals that lack of vegetable consumption in the UK is associated with around 18,000 premature deaths a year, with cost being identified as a key reason for non-purchase.
The latest VEG FACTS 2021 Report has just been published by the Peas Please initiative, a partnership with The Food Foundation, Food Sense Wales, Nourish Scotland, Belfast Food Network and Food NI, which works to make vegetables more appealing, accessible and affordable.
The affordability of vegetables is highlighted in the report as being a major factor in low consumption rates. Calorie for calorie, foods high in sugar or fat are a third of the price of the cost of vegetables.
Both children and teenagers continue consume far too few vegetables, with 29% of five to 10-year-olds eating less than a portion of veg a day and only 6% of 11-16 year olds eating the amount of veg recommended in the Eatwell Guide.
The report highlights where children are getting their vegetables from with more than a fifth of children’s and teenager’s vegetable intake now coming from foods classed as ultra processed, which are often high in salt, sugar and fat. Baked beans and pizza together contribute 16% of children’s vegetable intake.
A number of children are at risk of micronutrient (vitamin and mineral deficiencies). 38% of children aged 11-16 have magnesium intakes below the lowest recommended amount, and 21% have intakes of vitamin A below the recommended amount.