Diet 'tweaking' could save lives, study finds

While we have all been busy trying to squeeze in our five-a-day and 30 minutes exercise, a group of scientists have been busy pondering the latest solution to Britain's obesity crisis. And apparently it's the little things that add up when it comes to weight loss.

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Research teams at Oxford and Liverpool universities compared the diets of Brits aged between 25 and 84 with the number of deaths from heart disease, the UK' biggest killer. They claim that small changes to your daily diet could ultimately save your life. In fact, the experts say that in the region of 20,000 lives could be saved each year if we ate one gram less of salt, an extra piece of fruit and got one per cent more energy from unsaturated fats (instead of the nasty trans fats we hear so much about).

The researchers, who presented their findings at the annual conference of the American Heart Association in San Francisco, said: "About 31 per cent [of the reduction] would be due to increased fruit and vegetable consumption and 8 per cent to decreased saturated fat intake."

It's good news certainly, particularly when you consider that if we Britons carry on the way we are, more than half the population could be obese in 40 years time. But it is just the latest study into the obesity epidemic, the perfect diet and the ideal weight loss solution. And is it any wonder that with seemingly conflicting advice over what not to eat surfacing daily we are becoming a nation of food-obsessives?

After all, surely the age-old advice of 'eat less, exercise more' could save millions in research, government health campaigns and NHS weight loss clinics.

So is it a case of too much information where diet is concerned and would we not fare better with clearer, simpler guidelines?