Fruit and vegetable consumption as a preventative strategy for non-communicable diseases

J. V. Woodside*, A. P. Nugent, R. E. Moore, M. C. McKinley

*Corresponding author for this work

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A high intake of fruit and vegetables (FV) has consistently been associated with a reduced risk of a number of non-communicable diseases. This evidence base is largely from prospective cohort studies, with meta-analyses demonstrating an association between increased FV intake and reduced risk of both CHD and stroke, although the evidence is less certain for cancer and diabetes. Controlled intervention trials examining either clinical or intermediate risk factor endpoints are more scarce. Therefore, evidence that FV consumption reduces the risk of disease is so far largely confined to observational epidemiology, which is hampered by some methodological uncertainties. Although increased FV intake is promoted across all dietary guidelines, national surveys confirm that dietary intakes are suboptimal and are not increasing over time. A range of barriers to increasing FV intake exist, including economic, physical and behavioural barriers that must be considered when exploring potential opportunities to change this, considering the feasibility of different approaches to encourage increased FV consumption. Such interventions must include consideration of context, for example, challenges and uncertainties which exist with the whole food system.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalThe Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
Early online date14 Feb 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 14 Feb 2023

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