UK and Ireland Top Global Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, Reveals OECD Study

UK and Ireland Top Global Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, Reveals OECD Study

In a recent study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Kingdom and Ireland have emerged as global leaders in the consumption of fruits and vegetables. A significant one-third of their populations adhere to the recommended intake of five portions per day, placing them atop an international ranking concerning healthy eating habits.

A Global Perspective on Healthy Eating

The OECD’s research, which spanned across 30 countries, revealed a stark contrast. On average, only 15% of people in these nations consume the suggested five daily servings of fruit and vegetables. This data underscores the significant strides made by the UK and Ireland in promoting and maintaining healthy dietary choices among their citizens.

The UK: A Beacon of Nutritional Excellence

Within the UK, 33% of adults achieve the nutritional target, which has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. Public health minister Andrea Leadsom expressed delight at the surge in fruit and vegetable consumption, though experts caution that the figure is yet too low. They urge citizens to utilize the advent of the New Year to further enhance their intake, improve their health, and increase their physical activity.

Tackling the Challenge of Affordability

Despite the encouraging figures, the journey towards universal healthy eating is not without its hurdles. The amount of vegetables purchased by UK households witnessed a 14% decline in the year leading up to 2022. This decrease was driven by households having to prioritize cheaper, less healthy calories over fruit and vegetables due to stretched food budgets. This highlights the crucial challenge of making nutritious food affordable and accessible for all, a task that demands immediate attention and action.

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