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Swedes neglect their fruit and veg: report

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08:45 CEST+02:00
Sweden trails behind its European neighbours in regard to consumption of fruit and vegetables, a new report from sector organisation Freshfel has shown.

Swedes come in at a lowly 17th place of the 28 countries surveyed, according to the report, the results of which are published in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper on Thursday.

"It shows that we have a lot of work to do. We should eat twice the amount of fruit and vegetables than we do today," concluded nutrition expert Ulf Bohman at the National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket).

The survey covered the 27 European Union countries plus Norway and was conducted by Freshfel which is a sector organisation for the fruit and vegetable industry.

Swedish authorities have long since recommended the consumption of 500 grammes of fruit and vegetables daily - the so called five-a-day campaign.

Within this five-a-day is included berries, juice, dried fruit, root vegetables and legumes but not potatoes.

Ulf Bohman explained to the newspaper that the nutritional advice has been developed as science has proven a link between a high intake of fruit and vegetables and a lower incidence of cancer.

Swedes are reported to have doubled their intake of fruit and vegetables since 1960 and prices have remained relatively stable for the past decade.

There are however significant variations among social classes, between the sexes and the generations.

Older people are better than the young, women better than men, and higher educated better than lower, figures show.

The report shows the Greeks leading the way when it comes to fruit and vegetable consumption, while all the Nordic countries come in under the European average.

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