Assembly of European Horticultural Regions

Consumption

cercle d abondance de fruits et légumes colorés

Why are Fruit and Vegetable so important for your health?

The prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases is increasing in industrialized countries. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest dietary models that currently exist. It successfully combines pleasant taste and healthy dietary habits, including high consumption of vegetables and fresh fruits.

 

Know more about the Mediterranean diet and the bioactive compounds in fruits and vegetablesioactive compounds in fruits and vegetables

 

Study on the consumption of F & V in 7 European countries

shopping fruit legumes dans supermarchéSeptember 2017 

Find here a Study on the consumption of F&V in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, UK, France and Spain conducted by Kantar TNS on behalf of Fruit and Vegetable Norway (Stiftelsen Opplysningskontoret for frukt og grønt - OFG)

The survey in short :
Sample: National representative sample in each country, age 18 years +
1000 interviews per country.
 
Share of people who consume at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis (among the 7 countries of the study) :
  • UK : 39,7 %
  • France : 34,8%
  • Spain : 29,3%
  • Norway : 23,9%
  • Finland : 22,9%
  • Sweden : 19,3%
  • Denmark : 18,2 %

Read the summary of the study.

 

 

alitta rose

The prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases is increasing in industrialized countries. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest dietary models that currently exist. It successfully combines pleasant taste and healthy dietary habits, including high consumption of vegetables and fresh fruits.

 

Characteristics of the Mediterranean diet

Traditional Mediterranean dietary patterns are characterised by high intakes of plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, bread, cereals (primarily whole-grain), pulses and nuts. These foods are consumed in season and, for the most part, in fresh form, having undergone little or no processing. This enhances the availability and utilisation of the micronutrients and antioxidants they contain.

There is no single Mediterranean diet but rather there are as many eating patterns as there are Mediterranean countries. Despite the fact that the Mediterranean diet concept has gained popularity, not all countries bordering the Mediterranean have preserved the distinctive dietary patterns that were defined in the 1950's. Children and adolescents are those with the most deteriorated Mediterranean diet profile. Changes in their diet include increased energy intake and increased consumption of foods with low nutrient density (soft drinks, candy, sweets, etc.). These changes have negatively impacted certain nutritional benefits characteristic of the diet: reduced antioxidant and vitamin intakes, increased proportions of saturated fatty acids, and decreased fibre consumption.

 

Fruit and vegetable intake in children


The diets of most children do not meet the recommendations of the Food Guide Pyramid, especially for fruits and vegetables. This is important due to their content in minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and dietary fibre. Choosing a variety of foods is thought to improve eating patterns by increasing exposure to a wider range of essential nutrients and other dietary components, including fibre and phytochemicals.

 

Bioactive compounds in fruits and vegetables

fruit legume pannier 3
Bioactive compounds are components of foods that influence physiological or cellular activities resulting in a beneficial health effect.
The presumed protective effect of fruits and vegetables is attributed to their high concentration of antioxidants.
In conclusion, the diets of children and adolescents are undergoing important changes, which make them a priority target for nutrition interventions. Governments should take steps to prioritise cultivating, raising, producing, transporting and commercialising healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables.

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