Almost 75% of adults in Milton Keynes do not eat their five a day fruit and veg, research proves

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Almost three out of four adults in MK do not eat enough fruit and veg, according to new research

And the problem could stem from the cost of living crisis – because many people now see these foods as a ‘luxury’, says The Food Foundation.

They say the proportion of adults eating the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables in Milton Keynes has fallen over the past year.

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Office for Health Improvement and Disparities figures based on Sport England data show 26% of people aged over 16 in Milton Keynes met the 'five-a-day' fruit and vegetable recommendation in the year to November 2023.

Too many people in Milton Keynes are not eating enough fruit and veg, says The Food FoundationToo many people in Milton Keynes are not eating enough fruit and veg, says The Food Foundation
Too many people in Milton Keynes are not eating enough fruit and veg, says The Food Foundation

This was down from 27.9% the year before.

Across England, the rate of adults meeting the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables fell to 31% last year – down from 32.5% the year before and 34.9% two years prior.

Shona Goudie, Food Foundation policy and advocacy manager, said: "Fruit and vegetables shouldn't be a luxury for low-income households but that is the struggle that many families across the UK are currently facing."

She added recent data from the charity shows the "severe" impact the cost-of-living crisis continues to have as it suggests 60% of food insecure households are cutting down on purchasing fruit and 44% on vegetables.

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She added: "It is critical that Government and retailers prioritise making sure that everyone can afford and access a healthy diet."

The Sport England figures also show 25.9% of adults in MK were estimated to be obese last year – up from 25.8% in 2021-22.

Overall, 63.2% of over 18-year-olds in the area were overweight.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said research by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development shows the UK has the joint highest percentage of people who consume five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day in the developed world.

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They added: "We encourage everyone to maintain a healthy balanced diet which includes at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day, alongside plenty of higher fibre, wholegrain foods."

They said the Government is taking "strong action" to encourage healthier food choices and to tackle obesity while respecting the importance of individual choice.