Over half of UK adults are not getting their 5-a-day of fruit and veg, according to a poll of almost 10,000 people, and children are consuming too much fruit juice.
Although consumption of fruit and veg has increased since the 1970s, Brits still only eat about 3 and a half 80g portions a day, less than any other major European country.
Over half of UK adults are not eating their 5-a-day of fruit and veg
The latest poll, conducted on behalf of the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) revealed that 61 per cent of adults are not eating enough fruit and veg. This is up from 56 per cent in 2010.
Over a third (37 per cent) of respondents said they believed their diets had got worse since the start of the economic downturn, because of small pay increases and big rises in the cost of everyday food.
In fact, a third of 18 to 24 year olds said they preferred to eat junk food because it was less expensive.
The survey also showed that some adults are unaware of what constitutes fruit and veg. One in 12 thought that items including tomato ketchup, Terry’s chocolate orange and strawberry ice cream counted towards their 5-a-day target.
And half of 18 to 24 year olds admitted they chose to eat junk food because they preferred the taste.
According to guidelines published by the Department of Health, everyone should eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, stokes and some cancers.
However, dentists say that fruit juice- which the Department of Health says counts towards your 5-a-day, can cause serious damage to teeth if drunk between meals.
While fruit juices contain a range of vitamins that are good for your health, they are also often high in natural sugars, which cause tooth decay.
The Royal College of Surgeons dean of dental faculty Kathy Harley has called on schools to offer milk or water to pupils during breaks instead of fruit juice because its high acid content is leading to dental erosion in half of 5 year olds.
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