British consumers are largely wrongly convinced that they are eating enough fruit and vegetables, according to a survey conducted by Gallup for the British Dietetic Association (BDA). Fruit and veg is essential to a healthy diet, guarding against chronic diseases, as well as providing a host of other health benefits.
Of the 1,000 people quizzed in the poll, nearly 70% said that they have no need to eat any more fruit and vegetables, arguing that they already eat enough. According to the National Food Survey, organised by the government, the average Briton is only eating three servings a day, a tally that falls two short of the amount recommended by dieticians.

It transpired that many of those questioned were confused about what actually constitutes a “portion.” Experts say that it may be a glass of fruit juice, or a serving of salad or beans for example. Only 60% of respondents knew that frozen vegetables counted as a serving, and dieticians are still having to explain that products such as tomato ketchup or fruit squashes do not count because they do not contain enough fruit or vegetables.

Nearly 80% of people were also wrong in considering a baked potato as a serving. In fact, dieticians consider potatoes to be a starchy food and do not include them in the recommended five daily servings.

Just as worryingly, perhaps, other consumers knew that they did not ate enough fruit and veg, but argued that the products are too expensive, or hard to come by. Others maintained that they are simply unappetising.

To read the recent feature: Food Standards Agency Survey – a Year On and What Have We Learned? which addressed the issue of five daily portions, click here.

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