Britons are failing to eat their five a day and have unhealthy diets, according to the government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey.
It found that fewer than a third of adults and just one in 10 children are eating their recommended "five-a-day" of fruit and vegetables.
Adults are eating four portions of fruit and veg each day, on average. Just 31 per cent of people aged between 19 and 64 are eating the recommended five a day.
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The figures are even worse in teenagers – but boys are healthier than girls, according to the study.
Only 11 per cent of boys eat five a day, but girls are even worse with just 8 per cent of them reaching their five a day target.
Boys manage to eat 3 portions of fruit and veg, but girls eat just 2.8 portions.
Aside from fruit and veg, Britons are eating unhealthy diets in general. The study found that we’re not eating enough oily fish – such as sardines and mackerels – which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and can help lower the risk of heart disease.
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We are also consuming too much saturated fat, found in cakes and biscuits, which can raise cholesterol levels and lead to heart disease.
And just under half of Brits have high levels of cholesterol – fatty deposits which can block blood vessels.
The survey also found that 46 per cent of teenage girls and 23 per cent of women are not getting enough iron. This can lead to anaemia and can cause fatigue and light-headedness.
"It's disappointing that a year on there has been no real improvement in the number of young people eating their five-a-day,” said Tracy Parker, dietician at the British Heart Foundation.
“Fruit and vegetables help young minds and bodies develop and should be an integral part of any teenager's diet.
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"It's not just young people though - all age groups are failing to clear the five-a-day bar.
"The nation is consuming too much saturated fat and too many people have high cholesterol - a major risk factor for heart and circulatory disease."
And in another study published today, it was claimed that it’s what we eat that makes us fat, not a lack of exercise.
The study, published in the PLoS ONE journal, investigated the Tanzanian Hadza tribe, who still exist as hunter gatherers and are reflective of the ancient human lifestyle.
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The tribes were found to have the same metabolic rate as office workers – meaning they burn the same amount of calories, despite walking for miles each day in search of food.
The findings suggest that Westerners are growing obese because of their poor diet – not their inactive lifestyles.
"This to me says that the big reason that Westerners are getting fat is because we eat too much - it's not because we exercise too little," said Dr Herman Pontzer who works at the department of anthropology at Hunter College in New York.
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"Being active is really important to your health but it won't keep you thin - we need to eat less to do that.
"Daily energy expenditure might be an evolved trait that has been shaped by evolution and is common among all people and not some simple reflection of our diverse lifestyles."Maybe it’s time to ditch the afternoon tea and cake…