Better diets could cut premature deaths by 10%

Improved diets could prevent around 70,000 premature deaths a year in the UK, a government report has claimed as the DoH prepares to launch a ‘radical’ anti-obesity plan.

The eating pattern of the average British adult ‘substantially increases their risk of becoming obese and developing heart disease or cancer’, a report by the Cabinet Office’s strategy unit concludes. 

If all adults adopted the DoH’s five-a-day policy for eating fruit and vegetables, 42,200 premature deaths a year could be prevented, it says. Around 28,000 more could be stopped by cutting the level of salt, saturated fat and added sugar in the average UK diet, the report says. Together this is equivalent to one in 10 of all premature deaths. 

Health minister Ivan Lewis said: ‘Obesity is now one of the great challenges facing both the NHS and our society. We will be using the analysis to inform the development of a radical long-term strategy to tackle obesity.’ 

The strategy is to be published later this month.

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