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Vegetable and Fruit Intake

By Lisa Schulmeister, MN, RN, ACNS-BC, OCN, FAAN
Most everyone is aware that eating fruits and vegetables is associated with longevity. Researchers in the United Kingdom noted that worldwide daily consumption guidelines varied from country to country and conducted a study to examine fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality. They analyzed data from the 2001-2008 Health Surveys for England, which involved 65,226 people aged 35 and older completing annual surveys. Data were analyzed to determine if an association existed between fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, and adjusted for age, gender, social class, education, body mass index, alcohol consumption and physical activity.

Fruit and vegetable consumption (7 or more servings a day) was associated with decreased mortality, reduced cancer mortality, and reduced cardiovascular mortality. Vegetables had a stronger association with mortality than fruit, and consumption of fresh vegetables or salad were most protective. Frozen/canned fruit consumption was associated with an increased mortality, and may be attributable to increased sugar content.
Oyebode O, Gordon-Dseagu V, Walker A, et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and CVD mortality: analysis of Health Survey for England data. J Epidemiol Community Health; published online ahead of print, March 31, 2014; doi:10.1136/jech-2013-203500.
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