One in three adults in the UK and Ireland consume five or more portions of fruit and vegetables every day, a higher proportion than in any other nation in the developed world, a report suggests.
Regular consumption of fruit and veg is associated with improved health outcomes, particularly in lowering the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. The World Health Organization recommends eating at least 400g – or five or more portions – each day.
Figures published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development show the UK and Ireland jointly top a table of 33 countries comparing how many people report having five portions a day. In both countries, 33% of adults hit the target on a daily basis.
The next highest-ranking countries are Korea and Israel, where 32% say they consume five or more portions a day, followed by the Netherlands (30%). The figure is 20% in France, 15% in Portugal, and 11% in Germany. The OECD average is 15% – less than half the figure in the UK and Ireland.
“This may be the first time the UK has topped a European league table for the right reasons,” said Rob Percival, the head of food policy at the Soil Association. “We Brits are a nation of closet veggie chompers.”
Anna Daniels, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, said: “It is very encouraging that the UK and Ireland are leading in consumption of fruits and vegetables with one in three achieving the five a day target.
“However there is certainly room for improvement. There are still two in three not getting their five a day. It can be as easy as adding a handful of spinach into pasta, or peas into rice. The benefits are huge and once you are in a good routine, it is easily done.”
While the UK fares well when it comes to eating fruit and veg, it remains one of the most obese countries in the developed world, according to the OECD data.
About 26% of British adults are obese, which makes the UK, with Chile, the joint second-most obese nation among 35 countries. The US tops the list (34%). Korea fares best, with just 4% of its adults falling into the obese category.
(The following story may or may not have been edited by NEUSCORP.COM and was generated automatically from a Syndicated Feed. NEUSCORP.COM also bears no responsibility or liability for the content.)