App developed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in adults

According to Public Health England, just a third of adults and 12% of 11-18-year-olds eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables. In response, researchers from Bournemouth University have developed a smartphone app coined SMART 5-A-DAY aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in adults.

Understanding of how to achieve 5 A Day is low

According to research, significant health benefits are associated with the consumption of at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day. In the UK, the 5 A Day campaign advocates for just that: the consumption of five 80g portions of fruit and vegetables daily.

The recommendation is based on advice from the World Health Organization, which recommends eating a minimum of 400g of fruits and vegetables a day to reduce the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.

But whilst most adults in the UK are aware of the 5 A Day message, research suggests understanding of how to achieve it is low. In a study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics​, researchers from Bournemouth University found that knowledge around the message – notably which foods are included, portion sizes, the need for variety, and reasons for consumption – was poor.

Further, the research that fruit and vegetable consumption was revealed related to this knowledge. “These findings suggest that strategies to increase fruit and vegetable consumption will benefit from increasing consumers’ knowledge of the details of the 5 A Day message,” ​concluded the researchers.


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