How healthy is Ipswich?

IPSWICH residents are a healthy bunch according to market traders.

IPSWICH residents are a healthy bunch according to market traders.

While a nationwide survey revealed that a third of British men do not do any exercise or eat enough fruit and vegetables, a street trader on the Cornhill claims business is booming among both sexes.

The UK-wide survey of 3,500 people polled by health food retailer Julian Graves showed that half considered themselves to be health conscious yet 54per cent did not know their recommended daily calorie intake.

Nigel Parker, who has been a fruit and vegetable street trader for 15 years, claimed the majority of his customers are aware of the requirement to have five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

He said: “At the moment the weather has taken away the initial appetite for soft fruit but generally I would say that in the last two to three years our trade has increased immensely. I do think people are trying to eat more healthily.

“About 50pc of the men that buy stuff from my stall are young and Eastern European or Portugese.

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“Europeans are generally healthier than Brits and I would say they eat a lot more fruit and vegetables as part of their diets.

“A few years ago I was worried that the younger generation were not buying food from market stalls and going to supermarkets instead but then out of the blue, it has turned around thanks to the foreign population of Ipswich. They have kept us alive.”

The national survey identified Wales as the region most likely to eat their five-a-day and Ireland as the least.

The south east came in at fifth place for having a healthy lifestyle.

A poll of residents in Suffolk revealed that the majority did know they had to eat five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day and most of them did fulfil that quota.

Cathy Moulton, care advisor at Diabetes UK, outlined the importance of eating well and exercising to avoid getting Type 2 diabetes.

She said: “This is strongly linked to a sedentary lifestyle and soaring rates of obesity.

“This doesn't necessarily mean going to the gym. It can be walking the dog briskly, doing the housework vigorously or taking the stairs instead of the lift.”

N Is enough done to promote healthy eating in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

N See page 31 to see how an Ipswich sport star coped with an unhealthy eating challenge.

Wendy Easey, 64, of Wick Road, Langham, said: “I always make sure I have my five-a-day. I have always liked fruit and veg-particularly vegetables. There are not any vegetables I don't like. When I was younger I use to eat lots of them too.”

Rosemary Clarke, 73, of Orford Road, Bromeswell, said: “I have had diabetes since I was 40 years old so I am very strict about it. I have a daily diet of carbohydrates and fruit and vegetables.

“I probably eat too many bananas but I also love nectarines in the summer.”

Cyril Mowles, 86, from Needham Market, said: “I eat a lot of vegetables but not much fruit. I'm not really a fan of fruit.

“Potatoes are my favourite veg and I probably don't have a lot of the others.”

Shane Rayner, 16, from Leiston, said: “I try to have my five-a-day. I usually have two pieces of fruit and then whatever vegetables I have for tea. I would say my favourite fruit is apples.

“I do exercise a bit but I should do more.”

Sharon James, 48, of Sandy Lane, Little Bealings, said: “I eat lots of fruit and veg every day so I definitely have my five-a-day.

“I'm not fussy about vegetables-I'll eat them all. As for fruit, my favourites are probably grapes and kiwi fruits.

“I try to do exercise as well but I know I don't do enough.”

Rosie Ling, 16, of Great Harlings, Shotley Gate, and her Californian friend Melanie Woods, also 16, said: “We normally have our five-a-day fruit and veg. Our favourite is fruit is strawberries, blackberries and we love broccoli too.”

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