The Government recommends an intake of at least five portions
of fruit or vegetables per person per day to help reduce
the risk of some cancers, heart disease and many other chronic
Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is a national
Cancer and coronary heart disease account for 60% of all
early deaths. A key feature of the Government's prevention
strategy to reduce early deaths from these diseases is action
to improve diet and nutrition.
The NHS Plan, The NHS Cancer Plan and the National Service
Frameworks for Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes and Older
People all highlight diet and nutrition as a key area for
action. This includes action to reduce fat, sugar and salt
in the diet, and to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
Current recommendations are that everyone should eat at
least 5 portions of a variety fruit and vegetables each day,
to reduce the risks of cancer and coronary heart disease
and many other chronic diseases. Yet average fruit and vegetable
consumption among the population in England is less than
3 portions a day. Consumption tends to be lower among children
and people on low incomes.
The main barriers to eating more
fruit and vegetables are:
- Access and availability – whether people
have access to good quality, affordable fruit and vegetables
- Attitudes and awareness – awareness of the
5 A DAY message, and people’s knowledge, attitudes,
motivation and skills concerning buying, preparing
fruit and vegetables.
The government led 5 A DAY programme aims to
increase fruit and vegetable consumption by:
- Raising awareness of the health benefits
access to fruit and vegetables through targeted action