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U.K. Tea Council: healthy drinks project.

As tea accounts for over 43% of everything we drink, the U.K. Tea Council has an inherent interest in studying what the nation drinks and why. The Tea Council is committed to promoting healthy drinking, as tea is natural and has a truly healthy pedigree of which young and old should be more aware.

This year the Healthy Drinks Report illustrates the level of concern most of us have about exactly "What's in a drink". Many people are particularly concerned about the additives and increasing amounts of sugar added to drinks. They're confused too, about specific drinks - such as fruit juice for which sugar content was greatly underestimated.

Clearly more detailed labelling would help them make a more informed selection of drinks.

For the first time this year the Healthy Drinks Report has looked at the drinking habits of children aged 11-16 yrs and some fascinating statistics emerge.

What we drink is as important as how much we drink and in the case of children a significantly high consumption of fizzy drinks is notable. It should be remembered that whilst the increasing presence of sugar and saccharin in drinks encourages the development of children's sweeter tooth, sugar is one of the sources from which children derive energy.

According to the survey, a third of Britons are not drinking the average 1.75 litres of fluid needed every day. We need even more than that under conditions where fluid loss is accelerated - so it's clear that most of us must increase our fluid intake.

While previous Healthy Drinks Reports have highlighted people's inadequate fluid intake, a third of U.K. adults are still not drinking enough fluid. In the face of considerable competition, tea continues to dominate what we drink in the U.K., with each person over the age of 10 drinking more than 1,300 cups of tea in a year

Two thirds of UK adults are worried about the quality of tap water--but still drink it

Tea is considered to be a healthier drink than tap water

Sugar in drinks is a major concern and 56% would like to see it more clearly labelled. Sugar content in orange juice is greatly underestimated.

Children have a higher consumption of sugar than adults, with a large percentage of this coming from the 10 cans of fizzy drink which they consume on average each week.

Six in ten adults are concerned about additives in manufactured drinks and would like to see better labelling.

Drinks profile

Respondents were asked what drinks they consumed and how much per day or week. More than four in five of respondents (81%) say that they drink tea. The next most popular drink is coffee which is drunk by 59%. Tea is the most heavily consumed drink with an average consumption per week of 28.06 cups amongst those who drink it.

Tea is the outright winner amongst adults in the popularity stakes. It is the universal panacea, chosen for its refreshing, thirst quenching, calming and reviving qualities. It's influence cuts through sex, age and regional differences, making it the undisputed national drink.

Method and sample

The Healthy Drinks Project is an annual report published by the Tea Council. It was established in 1987 to look at the drinking habits of the UK.

The report is based on computer analysis of self-completion questionnaires submitted by individuals. Responses were generated via questionnaire distribution by direct mail, editorial and through occupational health programs. A broad cross section of the community was thys able to participate.

The total database now stands at well over 10,000 respondents, with 3,530 replying to the project in the period July 1990 to June 1991.

Because the sample is self-selected, it can be concluded that respondents are those people who tend to be aware of health issues and thus, thet also perceive themselves to be 'fit'. One in four said that they exercised regularly or frequently with two thirds claiming to be the ideal body weight for their height.

Female respondents outnumber males by two to one and the sample of respondents is biased towards the under 45s.

This year, for the first time,research was also conducted amongst secondary school children aged 11-16. 2,181 responded to the self-completion questionnaire. This was also biased towards girls on a two to one basis and towards those aged 13-15. Three out of five respondents said that they exercised regularly or frequently.
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Title Annotation:survey of tea drinkers with focus on health concerns
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Apr 1, 1992
Previous Article:1991 Nielsen tea report.
Next Article:Scientific research - part of the German Tea Association's ongoing activities.

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