e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases

Fruits and vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. Reduced fruit and vegetable consumption is linked to poor health and increased risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). An estimated 5.2 million deaths worldwide were attributable to inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption in 2013.

Including fruits and vegetables as part of the daily diet may reduce the risk of some NCDs including cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. More limited evidence suggests that when consumed as part of a healthy diet low in fat, sugars and salt/sodium, fruits and vegetables may also help to prevent weight gain and reduce the risk of obesity, an independent risk-factor for NCDs.

Moreover, fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins and minerals, dietary fibre and a host of beneficial non-nutrient substances including plant sterols, flavonoids and other antioxidants and consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables helps to ensure an adequate intake of many of these essential nutrients.

WHO recommendations

As part of a healthy diet low in fat, sugars and sodium, WHO suggests consuming more than 400 grams of fruits and vegetables per day to improve overall health and reduce the risk of certain NCDs.

WHO documents

WHO documents


GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available

Other guidance documents
Evidence

Evidence


Related Cochrane reviews
Other related systematic reviews
Clinical trials
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Last update:

24 August 2016 17:02 CEST

Category 2 intervention

Systematic review(s) have been conducted but no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee

Global targets

Implementation of this intervention may contribute to the achievement of the following targets:

Global NCD targets

Target 6: A 25% relative reduction in the prevalence of raised blood pressure or contain the prevalence of raised blood pressure, according to national circumstances

Target 7: Halt the rise in diabetes and obesity