LIFESTYLE

Modern Diet Of Takeaways And Microwave Meals Leading To Rise In 'Wartime' Diseases

04/07/2013 12:11

It's a damning indictment of modern diets - despite being more aware than previous generations of the health benefits and implications of eating unhealthy food, health officials are seeing a rise in 'wartime diseases'.

Doctors have issued a stark warning that food standards in the UK are worse than they were during the Second World War, with scurvy (yes, the deficiency that we associate with sailors and pirates from hundreds of years ago) and rickets.

Dr Mark Temple, chairman of the British Medical Association's public health medicine committee, warned that children's diets are tragic, adding: "Food standards in the UK are worse now that they were during the rationing during the war. That's a strong indictment on the food industry. Obesity is a major health threat and we ought to be doing something about it."

child burger

Despite having access to a broad range of fruit and vegetables in the supermarket - much more so than in the 1940s - we are eating 8lb 13oz less than we used to consume in 2007.

The diseases were last seen in the early 20th century, and The Telegraph quoted dietician Sioned Quirke, who works in the Rhondda Valleys in South Wales as saying: "The difference between now and then is that this is out of choice. People say that fruit and vegetables are not affordable when in fact they are." She blames fast food for the rise in these diseases.

Scurvy can be caused by a lack of vitamin C, which is vital to make collagen. If this protein is not replaced, tissue breaks down, leading to muscle and joint pain. The gums may also bleed and swell. A lack of calcium and vitamin D causes rickets, making bones soft and malformed.

The findings come shortly after shocking news that there has been a four-fold increase in child obesity-related admissions to hospital.

The question of diet is ongoing in Britain, with health officials pointing the figure at several issues and factors. Fizzy drinks are a key concern' a week ago, leading doctors asked for a ban in junk food in hospitals, and the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said councils should look at banning fizzy drinks in schools.

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