There is no doubt that the results of the study on fruit and vegetables which I discussed in my last blog have made quite an impact. In this blog I have picked out some of the headlines and a selection of the initial paragraphs of each report.

INDEPENDENT (1)

Forget five a day: You need SEVEN portions of fresh fruit and veg per day to live longer, says new research

Chris Green

Eating seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day gives people a far greater chance of staving off an early death, according to a study published on Tuesday, which suggests that the Government’s official “five a day” recommendation should be doubled to 10.

Researchers found that eating seven fruit and vegetable helpings a day reduced a person’s risk of dying of cancer by 25 per cent and of heart disease by 31 per cent. But in a surprising finding, eating tinned and frozen fruit appeared to increase the risk.

DAILY MIRROR (2)

Are you getting your seven-a-day? Experts say we need more helpings of fruit and veg

Alistair McGeorge

Your usual five portions might not be enough, with a new study suggesting that a magnificent seven could reduce the risk of cancer by 25 per cent

Lead author Dr Oyinlola Oyebode, of UCL’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, said: “We all know that eating fruit and vegetables is healthy, but the size of the effect is staggering.

“The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age. Vegetables have a larger effect than fruit, but fruit still makes a real difference.

“If you’re happy to snack on carrots or other vegetables, then that is a great choice but if you fancy something sweeter, a banana or any fruit will also do you good.”

“Another possibility is that there are confounding factors that we could not control for, such as poor access to fresh groceries among people who have pre-existing health conditions, hectic lifestyles or who live in deprived areas.”

DAILY MAIL (3)

Forget five a day, we should eat SEVEN a day for a long life: Eating more portions of fruit and veg can cut risk of dying prematurely by 42%

  • Study shows eating more cuts chance of dying from      cancer by a quarter
  • Experts now want guidelines advising people to eat      5-a-day changed
  • But others believe advising on 7-a-day will deter      people from even trying

Jenny Hope

Eating seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day – two more than currently recommended – helps you live longer, claim researchers.

A new study shows that more fruit and veg slashes the risk of premature death by 42 per cent, compared with less than one helping a day.

Boosting consumption cuts the chances of dying from cancer by a quarter and heart-related deaths by one third.

DAILY EXPRESS (4)

Diet that adds years to life: Seven fruit and veg a day halves risk of an early death

A DIET rich in vegetables, salads and fruit can cut the risk of death from heart attacks and strokes by almost half, a study said yesterday.

 Jo Willey

Seven portions a day slashes the chance of an early death – and it is never too late to increase the amount.

Experts say the more fruit and vegetables you eat the better, with some suggesting up to 10 helpings a day.

NHS guidelines recommend five 80g portions of fruit and vegetables daily to help lower the risk of serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

But there is increasing evidence this is not enough to keep fit and healthy for the longterm.

Research shows seven or more helpings could reduce the risk by 42 per cent compared to someone who has just one portion daily.

It can reduce the risk of dying of cancer by 25 per cent and of heart disease by 31 per cent.

FORBES MAGAZINE (5)

Eating More Fruits And Veggies Daily May Reduce Risk Of Death

Alice G. Walton

Adding to the overwhelming evidence that the road to health is paved with plants, a new study in BMJ today finds that consuming seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day reduces one’s death risk considerably. Researchers followed a nationally representiave sample of over 65,000 people in Britain, and found that those who ate more fruits and veggies were much less likely to die of any cause. In particular, they were less likely to die of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. And, happily, the more fruits and veggies the people consumed, the more their death risk fell.

 

TIME MAGAZINE (6)

Eating More Vegetables Can Almost Halve Your Risk of Dying

Fruit makes a difference too, but fresh veggies have a larger effect

Alexandra Sifferlin@acsifferlin

We’ve all been told to eat our vegetables, and even if we don’t like it, we know they’re good for us. But a new study shows just how good for our longevity they may be.

Seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day can lower your risk of dying by an astonishing 42%, according to a new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. The more fruits and vegetables the participants ate, the less likely they were to die at any age, and the protective benefit increased with consumption.

CONCLUSIONS

It is very clear that the message which comes across is that there will be very significant benefits to health for the majority of the population if they increase the amount of fruit and vegetables they consume. While some of the reports do go on to express caveats and quote from those who are less than enthusiastic about all the hype, this does not really detract from the view that most of us should be eating more fruit and vegetables and that the current advice on ‘5-a-day’ needs to be altered.

As I explained in Part 1 (7) those people who eat lots of fruit and vegetables are quite different from those who eat virtually none because they smoke less cigarettes, take more exercise, abuse alcohol less, are better educated and almost certainly have much higher incomes. All of these factors contribute to the improved life expectancy. While there may be some marginal benefit from increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables, the fact remains that to achieve the huge improvements in life expectancy observed in this research it will require very substantial changes in lifestyle. To imply otherwise is not helpful. It is particularly regrettable that the various contributors of the articles referred to here just accepted the line taken by the official press release. It is a very sad reflection on the quality of journalism dealing with health issues. Unfortunately this criticism extends to reputable newspapers and magazines. If these articles were the subject of an old-fashioned school report my comments would have to include “very poor work” and “must try harder”!

REFERENCES

 

  1. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/forget-five-a-day-new-research-suggests-that-you-need-seven-portions-of-fresh-fruit-and-veg-per-day-to-live-longer-9226653.html
  2. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/seven-fruit-veg-day-five-a-day-3320754
  3. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2593791/Forget-five-day-eat-SEVEN-day-long-life-Eating-portions-fruit-veg-cut-risk-dying-prematurely-42.html
  4. http://www.express.co.uk/news/health/467994/Diet-that-adds-years-to-life-Seven-fruit-and-veg-a-day-halves-risk-of-an-early-death?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+daily-express-news-showbiz+(Daily+Express+::+News+/+Showbiz+Feed)
  5. http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/04/01/7-servings-of-vegetables-a-day-may-keep-death-away/
  6. http://time.com/#45790/eating-more-vegetables-can-almost-halve-your-risk-of-dying/
  7. http://vernerwheelock.com/?p=390