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Eating more than five-a-day may be a complete and utter waste of time

That’s according to a major new study… So put the banana down.
Jul 30th 2014, 9:35 PM 25,106 53

EATING MORE THAN five fruit and vegetables a day may be more effort than its worth, according to a major new study published today.

Carried out by researchers in the US and China, and published in the British Medical Journal, the analysis examined results from 16 previous studies, involving over 800,000 people.

It found that, yes, obviously — eating fruit and vegetables is good for you: a lower risk of dying early was recorded for each additional portion consumed.

In short…

  • Higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of all cause mortality, with an average reduction in risk of 5% for each additional serving a day (6% for fruit and 5% for vegetables).

But, after around five portions, it appears the benefit stops…

According to the study’s authors:

This meta-analysis provides further evidence that a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of all cause mortality, particularly cardiovascular mortality.

But they also concluded:

There was a threshold around five servings a day, after which the risk of death did not reduce further.

Four of the studies analysed in the research included only men; the other 12 both men and women. Six of them were carried out in the US, six in Europe and four in Asian countries.

A study published in April of this year in another scientific journal found seven fruit and vegetables a day was the ideal amount to stave off death, however.

Eating at least seven daily portions was linked to a 42 per cent lower risk of death from all causes, according to the research by the University of Liverpool.

Read: One quarter of primary school children overweight (and 12 per cent saying ‘no’ to fruit)

Read: Eating heart-shaped foods will keep your ticker in good shape

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Daragh Brophy


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