Mission StatementDisclaimerAffiliatesContact Us



There is evidence that reducing salt intake and eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, with reduced saturated and total fat, can substantially lower blood pressure and help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In the Health Survey, information was collected on the frequency of consumption of various types of food, looking in particular at overall fat and fibre consumption. (As the eating habit questions were collected during the nurse visit, no comparison information from the general population sample is available.)

The proportion of Chinese men and women who ate fruit and vegetables six or more times a week (men 46% fruit, 53% vegetables; women 60% fruit, 69% vegetables) was much higher than corresponding proportions in the other minority ethnic groups. Bangladeshi men and women were least likely to eat fruit six or more times a week (15% men, 16% women), and Pakistani men (7%) and women (11%) were least likely to eat vegetables with this frequency.

After adjustment for individual energy requirements, informants were grouped into one of three categories for fat and fibre intake _ low, medium or high. The chart shows the proportions of men and women in each minority ethnic group with a high fat score or a low fibre score. Among men, the proportion with a high fat consumption score was greatest among Irish and Bangladeshi men (22% and 21% respectively) and lowest among Indian men (11%). Among women, the highest proportion with a high fat score was found among Bangladeshi women (27%), followed by Irish and Pakistani women (14% and 13%). Indian (8%), Chinese (9%) and Black Caribbean (9%) women had the lowest proportions.

The proportion with a low fibre score was greatest among Bangladeshis (79% of men and 82% of women had low fibre intake). Indian men (39%) and women (42%) and Irish women (41%) were less likely than other minority ethnic groups to have low fibre intake.

Source: The Health Survey of England 1999