Jun 8, 7:53 PM ET 2007
Many nutrition experts believe the number of malnourished Britons is closer to 4 million, about 6 percent of the population, than the government’s estimate of 2 million.
There are no statistics on how many obese people may be malnourished, but doctors say they are seeing patients who are both overweight and malnourished. According to government statistics, 75 percent of Britons are overweight; more than one-fifth are obese.
Usually, people with vitamin deficiencies have skin problems, a swollen thyroid or bleeding gums. In severe cases, malnourished people might also experience hair loss, muscle wasting, a swollen abdomen, anemia or rickets.
Part of the blame goes to the rise of processed and fast foods, most of which contain only small amounts of healthy nutrients. The national diet is in such trouble that earlier this month, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency recommended that folic acid be added to the nation’s flour; a lack of it in the diet of pregnant women has been linked to birth defects.
Ralph notes (or part of the blame can be the establishment telling people that vitamins are not necessary, but twinkies are ok.)
Categories: General Diet