Article/Opinion Task- Week 2

Headline: “Is 7+ portions of fruit and veg per day an unrealistic expectation?”

Experts are reporting that a new study has found eating over seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day dramatically reduces the risk of developing heart disease and cancer. But is this figure daunting for the everyday man and woman?

I think yes, this is most definitely an unlikely target. Today’s everyman cannot afford to buy 49+ portions of fruit and vegetables a week. There is no doubt families will struggle to meet this recommended daily consumption.

The NHS says: “The headlines have been prompted by the results of a UK-based study that used information on more than 65,000 randomly selected adults who were participating in the Health Survey for England.

“This is an on-going health survey that looks at health and lifestyle factors such as fruit and vegetable consumption. The researchers followed up participants for an average of 7.7 years after their initial participation.

“The higher a person’s intake of fruit and vegetables, the greater the protective effects seemed to be.”

The Daily Telegraph even went so far as to say that “10 portions of fruit and vegetables per day are recommended” for a healthy diet. These figures show unworkable expectation for the everyday adult; people barely meet the five-a-day recommendation as it is.

Raising your intake of fruit and veg is obviously going to be healthier for your body, but who has the money to fund this? According to the Daily Mail, it is estimated that a family of four spend, on average, “over £1,500 more per year for fresh fruit and vegetables than more convenient options.”

It is extremely improbable that people in the UK can eat seven fruit and veg portions a day, and if they can, it will be one achievement that should receive appraisal.

The BBC stated that “experts said other lifestyle factors, such as not smoking or drinking excessively, may have accounted for the drop in mortality, not just fruit and veg consumption.”

{Ends} 320 words

Writing Task- Week 1

Main story:

Headline: “Her sixth birthday is a day we never thought we would see”

By Jennifer Leeman

An infant child from Leeds who was born with a serious heart defect recovered from transplant at 16 months old to see in her sixth birthday.

Gabriella Fletcher’s parents were told their baby daughter only had six months to live – today, they are celebrating a day they never thought they would see.

“We are celebrating with parties with Gabriella’s family and friends,” mother Angela said: “We live for the moment and fulfill our dreams wherever possible as we know only too well the harsh reality of what we could face at any moment with her.

Gabriella underwent two open-heart surgeries before having a life-saving transplant in July 2009, at 16 months old.

Angela continued: “We thank God in our prayers every night for our donor family, and remember their selfless act always.

“We are so proud of the miracle that is our daughter, but we owe a huge debt of gratitude to all who made it possible.”

The six-year-old is now on regular infusions of antibodies after suffering from repeated chest infections, and is thrilled to be able to inject herself with them. “If only she knew how momentous it was that she is able to do this,” Angela added.

{Ends} 200 words

Side story:

Andrew and Angela Fletcher are encouraging organ donations after their daughter received life-saving heart transplant at 16 months old.

Gabriella Fletcher, now six years old, received the heart donation after two unsuccessful attempts at open-heart surgery.

The six-year-old has since started dance lessons, and is said to show ‘great promise,’ placing fourth in a competition last week: “We are so proud of the miracle that is our daughter, but know we owe a debt of gratitude to all who made it possible.

Angela continued: “We continue to encourage all to sign up to the donor register and consider giving the most amazing gift of all – the gift of life.”

{Ends} 109 words