Three quarters of people in the UK are not eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day that can help reduce the risk of cancer, according to new statistics1 revealed today, by Cancer Research UK.

The new survey also shows that two-thirds of people are unaware of the link between low fruit and vegetable intake and cancer. These worrying results have prompted Cancer Research UK to launch ‘Fiver Day’ on the 5/05/05, to coincide with the general election, and to raise awareness of how a family of five can eat five portions of fruit and veg each, on a budget of five pounds a day.

Women are better than men at eating their ‘five a day’ and the likelihood of people eating five or more portions per day increases with age. Less than 20 per cent of people aged 15 -24 eat the recommended daily allowance of fruit and vegetables, compared with more than 33 per cent of people aged over 55.

The nation’s health and healthy eating has been high up the agenda of all the main political parties and Cancer Research UK hopes to build on this interest by launching ‘Fiver Day’. ‘Fiver Day’ forms part of the charity’s new landmark campaign – Reduce the Risk- which aims to raise awareness of how lifestyle changes can lessen the chances of being diagnosed with cancer.

Dieticians at Cancer Research UK have developed easy budget recipes for ‘Fiver Day’. These include: homemade healthy pizza, stir-fry and vegetable curry. There are also top tips on how to get your five a day and budget shopping guides showing that it is cheaper to snack on healthy foods than it is to munch on biscuits and crisps. The recipes are available on the Reduce the Risk website – Dr Lesley Walker, Director of Cancer Information at Cancer Research UK, says, ‘The results of this survey are very worrying and clearly show that a lot of people are still not eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. One of the best ways to improve your overall health is by improving your diet. At least half of all cancers are preventable and by taking simple steps such as following the ‘Fiver Day’ guidelines we can help reduce our risk.’

  1. Survey conducted by NOP World of 4000 UK men and women


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  • The charity works alone and in partnership with others to carry out research into the biology and causes of cancer, to develop effective treatments, improve the quality of life for cancer patients, reduce the number of people getting cancer and to provide authoritative information on cancer. Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading independent charity dedicated to research on the causes, treatment and prevention of cancer.
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