A World Cancer Research Fund survey has said just 22 per cent of people in the UK eat the recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

The study of more than 2,000 people released to coincide with the start of Cancer Prevention Week [14 May] suggested the target was too difficult for many to reach, especially those from low-income families.

Only 17 per cent of people in low-earning households eating five a day compared to 27 per cent of high-earners with regional disparities also shown by 18 per cent of those in the north not meeting the Department of Health target while over 74 per cent had their full complement of fruit and veg a day.

WCRF head of education Kate Mendoza said: "Getting at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is the building block of a healthy diet.

"A lot of WCRF's work focuses on raising awareness of the importance of diet, physical activity and body weight in relation to cancer risk. Although people are more aware of the significance of eating 'five a day' than they used to be, it is clear that there are still barriers to incorporating plant foods into our daily diets."

A Department of Health spokesman pointed to the success of the recent Change4Life campaign which saw over 2 million children receive a free piece of fruit every school day as an example of the work they are doing to improve on the number of children consuming the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables.

For more information on Change4Life visit www.nhs.uk/change4life 

Posted 14/05/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com