Fruit and vegetable intake: five a day may not be enough, scientists say (April 2, 2014 Guardian article)

An April 2, 2014 Guardian article is entitled: “How many portions of fruit and vegetables are we eating?”

The Guardian article is based upon research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Several articles, based on research at University College London, have appeared online.

The research report – I heard about it when I listened to a CBC Radio news report on April 1, 2014 – is of interest especially given that it aligns with an earlier report about sugar consumption guidelines proposed by the World Health Organization.

University College London

A March 31, 2014 Telegraph article is entitled:

“Healthy diet means 10 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, not five.”

The subhead reads:

“New study published by UCL [University College London] recommends a doubling of ‘five-a-day’ diet and finds vegetables to be four times healthier than fruit.”

Ten portions, seven portions, five portions

An April 1, 2014 article at is entitled: “7 portions of fresh fruits and vegetables for longer life.”

The article notes:

  • For a long and healthy life, eat at least seven portions of fresh fruits and vegetables, suggests a study that could lead to change in dietary recommendations in some countries. Eating fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of death, overall, and deaths from heart disease/stroke and cancer.
  • ‘The higher the intake of fruit and vegetables, the greater the protective effects seemed to be,’ the study found. And vegetables may pack more of a protective punch than fruit. For the study, researchers analysed lifestyle data for more than 65,000 randomly selected adults aged at least 35, derived from annual national health surveys for England between 2001 and 2008. They tracked recorded deaths from among the sample for an average of 7.5 years.
  • On average, the survey respondents said they had eaten just under four portions of fruit and vegetables the previous day. During the monitoring period 4,399 people died (6.7 percent of the sample). The same benefits were not found in a portion of frozen/tinned fruit. The study appeared in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

[End of text]

Epidemiological research

The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health features an Open Access article that is also of interest. This is the kind of interesting scientific paper that is occasionally translated into everyday English by science journalists writing for a layperson audience.

The article about the relation between socioeconomic status on longevity indirectly concerns itself with the larger picture of food security.

The article is entitled:

Socioeconomic inequalities in all-cause mortality in the Czech Republic, Russia, Poland and Lithuania in the 2000s: findings from the HAPIEE Study

HAPIEE – an acronym that is the outcome of an acronym-oriented approach to capitalization – refers to the Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial factors In Eastern Europe study.

Three indicators for measuring poverty

On a related topic, with regard to food security, an April 2, 2014 Bloomberg View article is entitled: “How much poverty should a rich nation allow?”


A Sept. 23, 2014 Medical Press article is entitled: “Fruit and vegetable consumption could be as good for your mental as your physical health.”

A Jan. 26, 2015 CBC The Current podcast is entitled:”‘Fat doesn’t make you fat’: Nina Teicholz’s big surprise.”

A Feb. 2, 2015 CBC article is entitled: “Toddler foods with excessive sodium, added sugar set taste preferences: Parents may incorrectly assume foods designed for young children follow higher nutritional standards.”

What counts for one serving of a fruit or vegetable? A Canada Food Guide list of servings can be accessed here.

More recent posts include:

Excerpts from: Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and CVC mortality (2014)

How do you figure out what constitutes a serving of vegetables?

An August 1, 2015 New York Times article is entitled: “My Dinner With Longevity Expert Dan Buettner (No Kale Required).” The article notes: Not a lot of dairy products.

An April 25, 2017 Science Daily article is entitled: “Parents’ use of emotional feeding increases emotional eating in school-age children.”

A summary of the research report from the Society for Research in Child Development, on which the article is based, reads:

“Emotional eating is not uncommon in children and adolescents, but why youth eat emotionally has been unclear. Now a new longitudinal study from Norway has found that school-age children whose parents fed them more to soothe their negative feelings were more likely to eat emotionally later on. The reverse was also found to be the case, with parents of children who were more easily soothed by food being more likely to feed them for emotional reasons.”

An April 25, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “Backlash after report claims saturated fats do not increase heart risk: Relying on low fat foods to avoid heart disease is misguided, say cardiologists, but critics say comments ignore evidence.”

An April 26, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Pass the butter: Cutting saturated fat does not reduce heart disease risk, cardiologists say: Focus should instead be on eating ‘real food,’ walking and reducing stress.”


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