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Fresh fruit and vegetable market stall, Moore Street, Dublin city centre Alamy Stock Photo
five a day

Ireland ranks best in Europe for eating fruit and vegetables

The highest daily intake of five portions of fruit and vegetables among EU member states was recorded in Ireland by Eurostat.

PEOPLE IN IRELAND eat more fruit and vegetables on a daily basis than their European counterparts, new EU research has found.

The highest daily intake of five portions of fruit and vegetables among EU member states was recorded in Ireland, with 33% of the population over the age of 15 consuming their five-a-day.

The Eurostat study found that as of 2019, 33% of people in the EU did not consume any fruit or vegetables daily, while only 12% of the population consumed the recommended 5 portions or more daily.

On average, over half of the EU population (55%) said they ate between 1 and 4 portions of fruit and vegetables daily.

Following behind Ireland at the top of the table is the Netherlands (30%), Denmark (23%) and France (20%).

The lowest daily intake was found in Romania, where only 2% of the population ate at least five portions of fruit and vegetables, followed by Bulgaria and Slovenia (both 5%) and Austria (6%).

Daily_consumption_of_5_portions_or_more_of_fruit_&_vegetables_2019 Eurostat Eurostat

The study also found that women’s daily intake of fruit and veg is higher than that of men. The study notes that on average, 58% reported eating 1 to 4 portions compared to 51% for men.

When it came to skipping fruit and veg consumption altogether, more men than women reported did so (39% vs 27%).

Writing for The Journal at the weekend, Dr Jolanta Burke explained that we may need much more than five a day to keep ourselves healthy and avoid risks of disease.

One study found we need to eat seven portions a day to reduce the risk of death from cancer and heart disease – another stated we need as many as ten portions to reduce these deaths by 30%.

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