fruit and veg 10 a day

Public Health Wales say 10 portions is ‘unrealistic’.

24 February 2017

Public Health Wales says a new study which encourages people to eat 10 portions of fruit and veg a day isn’t achievable.

Judith John, a Consultant Dietitian for Public Health Wales, says “It’s good to eat more fruit and veg but it’s probably an unrealistic target for a lot of people.  If we changed our advice to 10 a day it would put a lot of people off.”

Her comments come following a report by the Imperial College London which showed nearly 8 million premature deaths a year  could be prevented if they ate 10 portions a day. They say it will also reduce the risk of cancer by 13%, the risk of a stroke by 28% and the risk of heart disease by 24%.

But Dr Zoe Harcombe an obesity researcher from Newport agrees with Public Health Wales. She says encouraging people to eat 10 portions of fruit and veg a day is a waste of time.

Dr Harcombe says even the five a day campaign has failed to reduce obesity and it would be better to encourage people to eat “real food”. She says obesity has worsened since the introduction of 5 a day and in her experience, “people are trying to eat five-a-day in addition to everything else they are eating, not instead of”

She says this has been a missed opportunity to make a difference to our health and weight.

“The drive to eat five fruits and vegetables a day would have been far better directed (and still could be) towards eating more of the most nutritious foods each day. Meat, fish , milk, sunflower seeds and broccoli would be the optimal five-a-day,” she says.

Government guidelines recommend five portions of fruit and veg a day. However only one in 3 people manage to achieve this.A portion of fruit or veg is 80g and is roughly equal to a small banana, a pear or 3 tablespoons of peas.



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