Few people know and understand the ¬government's guidelines on healthy eating, smoking and drinking despite the millions of pounds spent on awareness campaigns, it emerged today.Because you can lead a horse to water, but…
Data from the annual Health Survey for England revealed that although obesity has nearly doubled in the last 14 years, two-thirds of men and women do not know the amount of exercise they should be taking. Only 27% of men and 31% of women eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Less than a third knew the maximum amount of alcohol they should drink a day, the report found. And only 14% of men and 11% of women could always correctly identify a portion of fruit or vegetables.Ummm…
In identifying a portion of fruit and vegetables, 76% of men and 80% of women usually got it right. Nearly four out of five women but only three out of five men (78% and 62%) knew that the recommended number of daily portions was five.Well, that was money well spent then! But you have to wonder just what they were misidentifying as fruit and vegetables?
The report pointed out the clear link between unhealthy diet and poor health and premature death, which is costing the NHS more than £2bn. "A government consultation into issues concerning healthy eating (2004) highlighted the need for the population to have sufﬁcient information and knowledge to make informed choices about their diet," it said.Make available all the information you want – you can’t make people read it, and you can’t make them understand it. There are no incentives in doing so. Start restricting their access to the NHS and you’d see some results, I suspect.
So, the millions of pounds spent on the campaigns has been a waste of money. Anyone want to guess what they plan to do?
Yup, right on the (taxpayers) money:
The public health minister, Dawn -Primarolo, said that more campaigns were on the way. "In the New Year we will launch our ambitious Change4Life movement. Change4Life will help families to move more, eat well and live longer.‘Move more’…? What’s she been smoking?