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Volume 471: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the health effects of not eating five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. (181023)

The recommendation to eat at least five portions a day is supported by the World Health Organisation, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and most leading cancer and heart disease organisations.

In July 2000 the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and policy carried out an assessment of the available evidence on the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption and concluded that higher intakes of fruit and vegetables could help to reduce the risk some cancers and cardio-vascular diseases. The Department has not commissioned any further research in this area.