London: Children aged between four and 10 are consuming more than double the recommended level of sugar, according to a new study by researchers including one of Indian origin.
Fewer than one in 10 teenagers and only around one in three adults achieve the recommended fruit and vegetable intake, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey by Public Health England found.
The survey also showed that people consume too much sugar and fat, with men eating too much processed and red meat.
“The results of this survey are extremely worrying. It shows that sugar makes up about three times the recommended daily calorie intake,” said Neena Modi, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
“At a time when one in three ten year old children are overweight or obese, and one in three five-year olds has tooth decay, the health risks posed by failure to tackle sugar intake are serious,” said Ms Modi.
The British Dietetic Association said rising food prices made it difficult for people to meet their five-a-day, that is consumption of at least five portions of fruit or vegetables each day.
In contrast, high sugar and fat foods often have price promotions, which are rarely applied to fruit and vegetables.
The survey is based on around 21,000 people in Britain who were asked to keep a diary of their eating habits for four days.
It found that adults were continuing to eat too much saturated fat, about 11 per cent above recommended levels.
British adults under 65 also only eat around one third of the recommended level of oily fish.
One in three children leaving primary school and almost two in three adults are overweight or obese which makes them prone to developing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and many types of cancer.