Some Europeans don't eat enough fruit and vegetables | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

19 November, Tuesday


Some Europeans don't eat enough fruit and vegetables

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Up to 30 percent of certain types of cancer could be prevented by eating proper amount of vegetables and fruits, according to scientific studies. However, Hungary has a poor record in both areas, especially in terms of vegetable consumption, in which it lags behind the entire European Union.
 
A study  by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2013 showed that 2.7 million people die each year from consuming excessively low amounts of vegetables and fruits. Low consumption of these food items is among the top 10 risk factors of death. When consumed as part of a daily diet, fruits and vegetables can help prevent some non-contagious diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. Consuming a variety of vegetables and fruits clearly provides many micronutrients, dietary fiber, and many essential nutrients, and an above-average consumption of fruit and vegetables can help eliminate saturated fat, sugar, or salt. 
 
The WHO/FAO Joint Expert Consultation Report on Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases states  that at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables a day are needed to prevent, for example, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. The report also concludes that there is convincing evidence that fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of obesity and are likely to reduce the risk of diabetes. A high-level international review  of fruit and vegetable consumption and cancer risk, coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), concluded that eating fruit and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer, especially in the gastrointestinal tract.
 
Worldwide, low consumption of fruit and vegetables is deemed to cause  19 per cent of gastrointestinal cancer, 31 per cent of ischemic heart diseases and 11 per cent of strokes. Estimates of current levels of fruit and vegetable intake vary significantly worldwide, amounting to less than 100 grams per day in less developed countries and around 450 grams per day in western Europe.
 
We focus on Eurostat data  to determine how much fruit and vegetables are consumed in EU member states. Both fresh and frozen products were included in the survey. We ranked the countries by combining statistics on the two food types and looked at the percentage of the population that eats fruit and vegetables every day. 

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