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Confusion over nutrition guidelines

Millions of people are confused about government nutrition guidelines and instead turn to "pop-science", a new study claims.

One in four shoppers are so baffled by guidance on healthy eating that they instead rely on family, friends and the internet for advice, the TNS poll for juice brand Minute Maid found.

But more worryingly, 17% of the people questioned do not believe being overweight can lead to heart attacks or strokes, while a fifth have rejected the advice on eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

And people are also avoiding turning to GPs and nutritionists for information, further reinforcing their incorrect beliefs about living healthily.

Nigel Denby, from the Human Nutrition Resource Centre, said: "It is perhaps not surprising that there is often confusion around some of these issues, particularly when people rely on hearsay and information from family and friends rather than heeding expert advice.

"Often it simply boils down to the fact that health messages can be complicated, confusing and often conflicting.

"It is understandable that some people are confused about how to eat a healthy diet because there is so much information out there, but if people ignore the basics of healthy eating, then the UK could face long-term health consequences such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes."

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Human Nutrition Resource Centre