One in six youngsters eat ready meals daily

Charities have warned that young Britons are putting themselves at risk of future health problems as a new poll reveals the extent of our junk food addiction. The survey found that the average British under-18 eats three or more ready meals or takeaways each week, with one in six admitting that they indulged every day.

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While the Food Standards Agency recommends just 6g (one teaspoon) of salt per day for adults, ready meals and takeaways are often high in salt and could lead to serious health problems, including stroke, if consumed too regularly.

The poll of 3,000 people also revealed that half of Britons eat too much salt, with 78 per cent confessing to adding extra during or after cooking. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent admitted that they do not take the recommended half an hour, five times a week exercise. The combination of too much salt and a lack of exercise can quickly lead to high blood pressure, the biggest single factor in increasing the risk of a stroke.

Wendy Martinson, nutritionist to the Great Britain rowing team, told the Telegraph: "A combination of poor dietary choices and habits, along with lack of regular exercise, could result in serious future health problems. The risk of stroke is patently real and these warnings need to be acknowledged."

Currently more than 150,000 people in Britain a year suffer a stroke, yet almost two thirds of those polled insisted they were unconcerned about their salt intake. Joe Korner, from the Stroke Association, said: "Regular exercise and lifestyle choices can help prevent a stroke – clearly a message Britain still needs to hear."

Let us know what you think can be done to put a stop to Britain's unhealthy eating habits.