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BMJ. 1995 Jun 3;310(6992):1453-5.

Healthy eating: clarifying advice about fruit and vegetables.

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  • 1Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Erratum in

  • BMJ 1995 Jun 24;310(6995):1665.


Consumers need health information which is clear and unambiguous. Advice to "eat more fruit and vegetables" gives consumers no guidance on the quantities involved. Popular advice is to eat "five portions a day." This paper provides a rationale for determining which foods are included within this advice--for example, processed foods such as baked beans are but potatoes and nuts should not be. It also describes how much of the most commonly consumed fruit and vegetables constitutes a "portion." A bowlful of salad, for example, is needed to make up a portion but an apple or banana on its own will count.

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