Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Diet and Exercise message failing?

Two recent surveys have indicated that public health messages about diet and exercise may be failing to have the desired effect.

The first survey by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) questioned over 2,000 people about what constituted a healthy, balanced diet. Many respondents did not know that tinned and frozen fruit or vegetables could count towards 'Five-a-Day'. Nearly one in five thought that eating something 'healthy' cancelled out eating something that has a high fat or sugar content. More results have been reported in the media (BBC).

The second survey, conducted by YouGov, questioned 2,100 people about exercise activity and what motivates them to exercise. Three in every five respondents indicated that they would not exercise more if their life depended on it. This story has also been reported in the media (BBC).

Action: Despite these disappointing survey results clinicians should continue to advise patients about diet and exercise at every opportunity.

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