5-a-day keeps disease away

The 5-A-Day campaign was based on the World Health Organisation’s recommendation to eat a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables a day to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer. A study led by scientists from Imperial College London, looking at 95 studies on fruit and vegetables, found that although the recommended five portions a day reduced disease risk, the greatest benefit came from eating 800g a day (around 10 portions – one portion is 80g). Ten portions a day was associated with 24 per cent reduced risk of heart disease, 33 per cent reduced risk of stroke, 13 per cent reduced risk of cancer and 31 per cent reduction in premature death. An estimated 5.6 and 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide in 2013 may be attributable, they say, to a fruit and vegetable intake below 500 and 800g per day respectivley. 


Aune D, Giovannucci E, Boffetta P et al. 2017. Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality-a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. International Journal of Epidemiology. 46 (3) 1029-1056.