Industry criticises Which? research

A survey by consumer watchdog Which? that said the credit crunch and pricey fruit and vegetables were putting people off healthy eating has drawn scorn.

"Around 28 million UK adults say price has become more important when choosing foods since the financial downturn," said Which? "Nearly three in five would buy more fruit and vegetables if they were cheaper, and almost a quarter said the economic crisis had made healthier eating less of a priority."

Which? has published the Hungry For Change report on government and food industry efforts to help consumers make healthier choices. It said: "Despite intense debate on obesity and diet, 76 per cent of people think the Government needs to act to make it easier to choose healthier options."

Which? chief policy adviser Sue Davies said: "We want to see a dramatic increase in the pace of action in all areas, so barriers to healthy eating can be removed."

But the British Retail Consortium said Which? was wrong to suggest price was a barrier to healthy eating. Food policy director Andrew Opie said: "Which? is discouraging customers from exploring healthy eating choices by pushing the myth that fresh fruit and veg are expensive. Fresh produce is the main focus of promotions as retailers battle it out to offer customers the best-possible value."

Retailers, he said, were working with the Government on initiatives like the Five A Day campaign.

- For a copy of the report email kate.turnbull@which.co.uk


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