§ Ms Jowell
Diseases which are entirely nutritionally based, that is protein or micro-nutrient vitamin and mineral deficiencies, are rare in the adult population.
However, diet and poor nutrition are the primary causes of obesity; 15.3 per cent. of men and 17.5 per cent. of women were obese in 1995. Obesity itself is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes and a number of other diseases. In 1994, 24 per cent. of men and 26 per cent. of women reported having had a cardiovascular disorder. In the same year, 2.9 per cent. of men and 1.9 per cent. of women had diabetes.
Diet and nutritional factors are also thought to account for around one third of all cancers.
Almost one in three women of child-bearing age have low or absent iron stores. This is at least partly due to diet.