Rising Malnutrition in UK

from Natural Products Magazine

Six million Britons are malnourished say experts - May 10, 2007
Up to 3.6 million people in Britain are suffering from malnutrition with growing numbers being treated for deficiency diseases, reports The Independent.

Research carried out by the British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) has revealed that malnutrition currently costs the NHS more than £7.3 billion a year. This is double the estimated cost of treating obesity related disease in Britain.

BAPEN says that up to 6% of the population could be suffering from malnutrition and serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by poor diet. They say that the problem is being fuelled by a growing reliance on pre-prepared foods and falling levels of micronutrients in fresh fruit and vegetables. Vitamin levels were also being compromised by binge drinking, excess sugar consumption and drug use.

The latest figures available (2002) showed that 2,729 people in English hospitals were diagnosed with malnutrition. Worrying numbers were suffering conditions usually found in the poorest parts of Africa.

Dr Mike Stroud, senior lecturer at the Institute of Human Nutrition, University of Southampton, told The Independent: “The modern diet is not providing enough vitamins. Malnourishment is going to make you more vulnerable to illnesses and less able to cope with them. The medical profession is only just beginning to take on board the implications.”