Confusion reigns over healthy diet

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The Independent Online
MOST people have a clear idea of the key elements of a healthy lifestyle, yet display considerable ignorance of the components which make up a good diet, a survey says today, writes Ian MacKinnon.

Three-quarters of the population were aware that maintaining a healthy weight, eating sensibly, giving up smoking and taking regular exercise were important factors in staying in good health.

But when questioned about the role of various foods in diet it became obvious that many people had little idea, a confusion reflected by the increasing numbers who were overweight: 45 per cent of men and 36 per cent of women.

Researchers discovered that less than 30 per cent were trying to eat more carbohydrates, even though this was one of the main recommendations in the Government's COMA report on dietary values issued last year.

However, 60 per cent of those questioned by Heinz Weight Watchers said that they were trying to avoid cholesterol, one of the recommendations in the Government's Health of the Nation White Paper, and almost half were trying to avoid convenience foods.

Finally, the survey discovered that 25 per cent of men believed a healthier diet would improve their sex life, while only 21 per cent of women thought this was the case.