Nutritionist: Five-a-day is enough

By Judy Buttriss

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: British medical journal, Nutrition

Judy Buttriss, director general, British Nutrition Foundation
Judy Buttriss, director general, British Nutrition Foundation
Less than 10% of 11-18 year olds and 30% of adults currently achieve five-a-day.

So, for those striving to do better, who were told in April that they needed seven, the news from a British Medical Journal​ paper at the end of July, which said that five was enough, will be welcome.

Dietary targets are important in driving dietary change, but if they are simply too challenging, their value is questionable.

The researchers considered data from over 800,000 participants from 16 studies and calculated that each additional portion, up to a threshold of five portions a day, reduced the risk of death by 5% and the risk of cardiovascular death by 4%.

Obesity epidemic

Recently, fructose, a major sugar found in fruit, has been headlined as toxic and a major cause of the global obesity epidemic.

But this is roundly disputed by a paper in the peer reviewed Nutrition Research Reviews​, which concluded that fructose, as commonly consumed, did not exert specific metabolic effects that increase body weight and that it is energy overconsumption rather than fructose per-se that is important.

Similar conclusions were reached in the recent draft report from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition’s report on carbohydrates and health.

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