Over 9 in ten kids not getting their 5-a-day

4 April 2017

The majority of 11-18 year-olds (92 per cent) are not eating the government’s recommended 5-a-day of fruit and vegetables, according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey.[1] [2]

World Cancer Research Fund says this is particularly worrying as a diet low in fruit and vegetables can increase the risk of lung, mouth, pharynx and larynx in later life.[3]

Among the other age groups, only 27 per cent of 19 to 64 year-olds and 35 per cent of over 65 year-olds are eating their 5-a-day.

To encourage the nation to start filling up on vegetables and fruit, World Cancer Research Fund has launched a new recipe website, Real Recipes. All the recipes on the site have been checked by qualified nutritionists and are backed by the charity’s solid cancer prevention evidence.

The Real Recipes site highlights the need for a healthy balanced diet. With confusing fad diets making the news on a daily basis, the charity’s site is a resource the public can trust. It will help people to live a healthier lifestyle and reduce their cancer risk.

Obese children are around five times more likely to become obese adults – making them more likely to develop serious health conditions including 11 common cancers.[4] [5] Having a healthy diet high in vegetables and fruit is essential for helping children and adults maintain a healthy weight.

Sarah Toule, Head of Health Information at World Cancer Research Fund, said:

“These figures are seriously worrying, so we decided to do our bit to encourage people of all ages to fill up on healthy, homemade dishes featuring lots of fruit and veg.

“We know from our global research that eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight are two major steps you can take to reduce your risk of cancer. The younger these healthy habits are developed, the easier they are to maintain into adulthood.

Real Recipes is a site where you can trust all the recipes to be healthy, as well as helping reduce your risk of cancer.”

The Real Recipes website is www.wcrf-uk.org/realrecipes  and people can follow #realrecipes on social media.


For more information contact Melanie Purnode at m.purnode@wcrf.org/ 020 7343 4273

Notes to editors:

About World Cancer Research Fund

For over 25 years, World Cancer Research Fund has been the UK’s leading charity dedicated to the prevention of cancer through diet, weight and physical activity. By funding and supporting research, developing policy recommendations and providing health information, we have ensured that people can make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of developing a preventable cancer.

For more information visit www.wcrf-uk.org/about-us, follow us on Twitter at @wcrf_uk, read our blog or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wcrfuk

[1] National Diet and Nutrition Survey, 9 September 2016, https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-diet-and-nutrition-survey

[2] NDNS results from years 5 and 6 combined: appendices and tables, Trend table final, Table 7.3 (also attached)


[3] https://www.wcrf-uk.org/uk/preventing-cancer/cancer-prevention-recommendations/enjoy-more-grains-veg-fruit-and-beans

[4] https://www.noo.org.uk/NOO_about_obesity/obesity_and_health/health_risk_child

[5] http://www.wcrf.org/int/research-we-fund/our-cancer-prevention-recommendations