Five-a-day could 'save 15,000 lives'

A new study from Oxford University claims that thousands of lives could be saved if only we'd get our five-a-day. The research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, concluded that the simple act of eating five portions or fruit and veg each day could prevent 15,000 early deaths from heart disease, cancer and stroke.

bowl of fruit
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Adding the recommended 18g daily dose of dietary fibre could save a further 4,000 while reducing fat and salt consumption would save the lives of more than 14,000 people in the UK.

Aside from the five-a-day suggestion to which few can plead ignorance, UK guidelines recommend that a third of our daily calorie intake comes from fat, but only 10 per cent of that should be saturated. Meanwhile we should be consuming no more than 6g of salt per day.

But no UK countries met the criteria. As it turns out, we Brits are increasingly turning away from fruit and veg with only a third hitting the five-a-day target.

Dr Peter Scarborough, who led the research, said: "Meeting dietary recommendations would have a massive effect on the health of the nation.

"According to our model, the biggest impact would be eating more fruit and veg."

What do you think? Are Britons unaware of healthy eating recommendations or just ignoring the advice? Leave your comments below...