Just a Fifth of Our Diets Include Five a Day

Mon, 14 May 2012

Only a fifth of our diets include the recommended five daily portions of fruit and veg, according to a World Cancer Research Fund survey.

The Department of Health campaign to eat five portions a day began in 2003, but it confirms that the campaign's aim is still difficult to achieve.

It is encouraging people to eat another portion for a healthier diet, which would increase protection from cancer.

A portion equates to two or more small fruits like Satsuma's, a medium-sized fruit, such as, an apple or banana, or half a grapefruit or a large slice of melon

A portion of veg can be two broccoli spears or three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables like peas, carrots or sweet-corn

Potatoes are not counted in this equation, however, fresh, frozen, tinned and dried fruit and veg are included.

Smoothies count for two of the daily five whereas pulses and beans count as a portion, regardless of amount consumed.

The survey discovered that 17 per cent of lower income households, that is, social groups C2, D and E, eat a minimum of five portions per day, whereas, 27 per cent of higher income groups do.

18 per cent of those in the north of England eat five or more portions of fruit and veg daily, with the highest consumption levels being reported in the south of England, with 26 per cent eating at least five portions.

It is clear from these results that many people are not getting the message about eating healthily. Eating five portions of fruit and veg daily is the foundation of a healthy diet as they provide a good source of nutrients, are low in calories, high in fibre and enable us to maintain a healthy weight.
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