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
with this frequency.
After adjustment for individual energy
requirements, informants were grouped into one of three categories
for fat and fibre
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
Among men, the proportion with a high fat consumption score was
greatest among Irish and Bangladeshi men (22% and 21% respectively)
among Indian men (11%). Among women, the highest proportion with
a high fat score was found among Bangladeshi women (27%), followed
Irish and Pakistani women (14% and 13%). Indian (8%), Chinese
(9%) and Black Caribbean (9%) women had the lowest proportions.
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
minority ethnic groups to have low fibre intake.
Source: The Health
Survey of England 1999