Over 60’s in East of England not getting 5-a-day
80% of people aged over 60 in Britain – and 85% in the East of England – say they are not getting their recommended five portions of fruit and veg every day.
A quarter of people over 60 in the East of England said they did not eat as much fresh fruit and veg as they could because they lived alone and the produce went off before they could eat it, with another concern being not being confident enough in their cooking ability to use certain produce.
Over a quarter of people in the region said fresh fruit and veg was simply too expensive, with 26% admitting they eat frozen meals at least twice a week, according to a survey for the cooking enthusiast and home appliance manufacturer brand NEFF by Atomik Research.
To combat this, NEFF has launched two community kitchens in Britain, with the aim of bringing communities and ages together. The kitchens will see old and young take part in cookery courses to brush up on their skills and to ensure they are confident cooking a range of fresh produce and not be reliant on frozen meals.
Loose Women and Birds of a Feather star Linda Robson, 60, said: “This survey shows that the elderly in Britain are the forgotten generation when it comes to spreading the word about eating five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day.
“It is just as important for the over-60s to eat healthily as it is for any other generation.
“We can all play our part in helping our older relatives and neighbours stay healthy by visiting them every now and again and making sure they are eating well – and maybe even cooking with them.”
People aged 65-70 in the east of England were least likely (80%) to go without their five-a-day on a daily basis but none of the over 80s surveyed said they were getting the recommended amount of fresh produce every day.
Seven in ten (69%) of those surveyed in the East said they enjoyed cooking, with over half (57%) of those saying they like to know what they are eating and 59% saying they enjoy cooking for others.
A third (37%) of those surveyed said they loved cooking with their family and 27% said they wished they could do it more, with 47% saying they enjoyed passing family recipes down through the generations.
Just under half (49%) said they had a repertoire of more than 10 recipes to draw on when cooking for their family and a quarter (26%) said they knew more than 20.
Three in ten (29%) of over-60s said they liked passing on tips about recipes and family favourites. However, more than a third (37%) say they cannot see the point in cooking as they live alone.
NEFF’s community kitchens have been launched with the environmental charity Hubbub and B&Q, with the first two opening in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and Haverhill, Suffolk. Two more are set to open next year in London and Yorkshire.
Linda added: “It is a tragedy that some older people don’t cook because they live alone and don’t see the point. We need to re-heat older people’s love of cooking and bring the joy back into their kitchens. We can do this by creating meals together across the generations – which means old and young can eat healthily.”