1 in 4 adults fail to get eye sight check, says new survey from Centrum

London: Our eyesight is our most precious sense1, according to a new survey commissioned by Centrum*2, the world’s number one selling multivitamin, which now contains FloraGLO lutein3, a natural form of lutein that can help maintain healthy eyes.

The research shows that we dread losing our sense of independence the most and not being able to see loved ones if our eyesight was to get worse, yet 1 in 4 of us have never had their eyes checked.

In the UK we value our eyes more than any other sense: 61 per cent say it is the sense that they would least like to lose. Compared to other parts of the body, eyes are also the ones that we are most squeamish about getting injured (63%).

The Centrum survey found that if our eyesight was to get worse, we would be most worried about losing our independence (46%) and not being able to see loved ones (27%), with other concerns being not being able to read (8%), drive safely (6%) or see in an emergency (4%).

However, our priorities appear to shift as we get older, with those over 65 years old being as worried about not being able to see their loved ones as not being able to read (17%). Those living in Wales and East Anglia are particularly loving groups, being the only regions where loved ones (38%/41%) feature higher than personal independence (36%/35%).

The strength of the love for our families is also evident when asked what the most amazing thing is that we have ever seen: nearly half of those surveyed (47%) said it was a family moment, such as the birth of their new baby or grandchild, a christening or a wedding. These overtook spectacular natural sights and landmarks as the most amazing sight. Again, those in Wales are more family-orientated than most, with 62 per cent choosing a family moment as their most amazing sight being pipped only by the 66 per cent in East Anglia.

Keeping our eyes healthy is the main reason that we get our eyes checked (29%), although reminders from opticians (23%) and difficulties with reading (14%) are also important factors. Despite all of this, most people do not appear to be taking the best care they can of their eyes.

One of the things we can do to help keep our eyes healthy is to eat foods that contain lutein, a natural pigment that helps protect our eyes. From research we know that only one in five people in the UK are aware of lutein. 4 Lutein cannot be made by the body, so we have to make sure we get it through the foods we eat. Lutein can be found in spinach, kale, peas, cos or romaine lettuce and broccoli. Although there is no recommended daily allowance of lutein set in the UK, some other countries suggest we need to have about 6mg a day (which equates to about one bowl of spinach a day).

Centrum research showed that less than half of those surveyed (42%) eat foods that contain lutein on a daily basis. Beside food, we can also get lutein through certain vitamin and mineral supplements. Centrum contains vitamins and minerals specifically designed to supplement the daily diet, with Centrum and Centrum Select 50+ now also containing lutein.
Notes for editors:
1. The survey, carried out for Centrum by BMRB Omnibus, quizzed 1,000 adults over the age of 16 across England, Scotland and Wales in June 2006.

2. Centrum is a multivitamin that’s complete from A to Zinc. It is a comprehensive formula of vitamins and minerals specifically designed to supplement the daily diet. Three other variants are carefully tailored to the needs of children (Centrum Kidz), the over 50s (Centrum Select 50+) and people who lead an active or hectic lifestyle (Centrum Performance).

3. Lutein is a carotenoid that is found in fruit and vegetables. It has been shown in clinical trials to help protect against retinal damage. FloraGLO lutein is a natural form of lutein that is extracted from marigold plants. It is an ideal form for human health because it’s identical to the lutein found in dark green vegetables. It is easily absorbed by the body, and deposits itself in the eye to absorb potentially harmful blue light and protect the eye.

4. Lutein Brand and Health Awareness Study UK March 2006, produced by Frost & Sullivan on behalf of Kemin.