HFMA survey finds UK adults lack nutrition awareness

Only 6% of UK adults understand government recommendations regarding vitamins and minerals, according to a new survey commissioned by the Health Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA), down a massive 76% on 2012.

In addition to this worrying figure, 50% of those surveyed don’t know that anaemia is related to lack of iron in the diet, 63% are unaware that vitamin D is important for bone health and 27% consume Fanta and squash to contribute to their vitamin C intake. 27% of people didn’t recognize any of the signs of vitamin D deficiency – with 39% not knowing which groups the government advises to take supplements – and 29% said they don’t eat fruit as a source of vitamin C.

Graham Keen, executive director of the HFMA, commented on the findings: “The public needs access to straightforward, responsible information about how essential vitamins and minerals work. Everyone should know that the best solution for most people to consume key nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, is to eat as healthy a diet as possible. However, it should be recognized that a daily food supplement provides important insurance for millions looking to safeguard their nutritional intake.

Nutritionist Marilyn Glenville, who analysed the survey findings, said: “Issues such as wide scale vitamin D deficiency is one nutrient area that poises a big problem in this country. The government recommends the use of nutritional supplements to combat vitamin D deficiency-related health problems and people need to start taking notice and acting on these guidelines.”

The study also found that almost 40% of respondents said they don’t have access to enough information on nutritional supplements and over 35% are confused about information provided by government and media about which health remedies or vitamins and minerals they should take.