11 September 2000
GPs dont realise iron value of beef
By FWi staff
ALMOST half the family doctors questioned in a new survey mistakenly thought that spinach is a richer source of iron than beef.
In a survey of 200 general practitioners only 44% correctly identified beef as the richest source of iron out of a list of foods.
Spinach was incorrectly identified by 49% of the GPs taking part in the survey by market researchers Taylor Nelson Sofres.
More encouraging for the livestock industry was the fact that 60% of the GPs correctly believed red meat has become lower in fat over the past 10 years.
This compares with a figure of 51% in 1998.
The survey also found that 99% of doctors realised that a high iron intake was especially important for pregnant women, babies (86%) and teenagers (80%).
And the study also revealed that 69% of GPs are giving dietary advice for general health, compared to 57% two years ago.
Meat and Livestock Commission research nutritionist Dr Breda Mulvihill was pleased with the results, but conceded health professionals still needed educating.