Asking for Evidence on 5 a day

“5 a day”. It’s a phrase we in the UK know well. It’s used in adverts to sell smoothies and diet regimes and it’s even the basis for the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme which aims to “help your child achieve 5 a day”. It seems you can't buy a banana orw a fruit juice these days without being told it "counts as 1 of your 5 a day". It’s important to Ask for Evidence behind claims like these to ensure those making the claims are held to account. And that’s why this week we’re taking a closer look at the fruit and veg advice here in the UK and abroad.  

The UK Department of Health adopted the scheme in 2003 and it’s quite possibly the most widely known piece of dietary advice. On Tuesday we’re going to be looking at whether it’s working and at what cost.

5 a day is based on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) global strategy on fruit and veg consumption. The WHO advises eating at least 400g of fruit and veg a day – which the UK Government equates to five portions (of 80g each). But this advice is not country specific so it’s pretty surprising to see that governments across the globe don’t make the same recommendations. Canada recommends eating up to 10 portions a day. We’ve asked 40 governments around the world what their fruit and veg recommendations are and what evidence they have to back them up. You can see what they came up with on Wednesday.

Do you have questions about 5 a day? The evidence behind it and how the policy was put together? With higher sugar content should we be doing more to prioritise vegetables over fruit? On Friday this week Public Health England has kindly agreed to answer these and other questions in a short Q&A session. There’s still time to ask your questions so get in touch:


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