7-a-day keeps the doctor away

A STUDY carried out by University College London has found that eating seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day is healthier than the currently recommended five.

Foodservice Footprint FT8-287x300 7-a-day keeps the doctor away Foodservice News and Information Grocery sector news updates Out of Home sector news  World Health Organisation University of London University of Glasgow University College London Dr Oyinlola Oyebode 7-a-Day 5 a day















After a seven year research project of 65,226 men and women, experts now say that eating an additional two portions of fruit or vegetables a day will prolong life and cut the risk of dying from cancer and heart disease.


The study found that the risk of premature death was reduced by 42% if people consumed seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day. People who ate three to five portions a day had a reported 29% reduced risk of death and those who ate one to three helpings had a 14% reduced risk.


The findings suggest that the World Health Organisation’s previously recommendation of 5-a-day is not sufficient, however, currently only 30% of people manage to eat that amount.


The study, led by Dr Oyinlola Oyebode, also found that whilst fresh vegetables and salad had the strongest protective effect, canned fruit could increase the risk of dying by 17% and fruit juice showed no significant benefit.


Speaking about the research Dr Oyinlola Oyebode said: “The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age. My advice would be, however much you are eating now, eat more.”


Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, suggested that to implement a 7-a-day message could be challenging for many people in society who currently already struggle to eat five.


He continued to suggest that it “would require governmental support such as subsiding the cost of fruit and vegetables, perhaps by taxing sugar-rich foods,” a proposal which has already been voiced by Dame Sally Davies to tackle obesity.