N° 84 | December 2013

« HOW TRANSLATE FRUIT & VEGETABLES BENEFICIAL ASSETS INTO EFFICIENT CONSUMPTION PRACTICE ? »

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Editorial

As emphasized in Walter Willett’s article, fruit and vegetables
are a crucial component of a healthy diet designed to improve long-term health. Their daily consumption is highly recommended across all dietary guidelines to prevent non communicable diseases. Obviously, distilling this information to practical advice on healthy eating represents a major challenge.

Despite a large body of evidence of health benefits, fruit and vegetables consumption still remain far below recommended levels in the EU: it has been estimated that less than 50% of EU citizens are reaching the average daily intake of 400g of fruit and vegetables advised.

Policies to promote F&V consumption might have been inadequate… So, a novel approach to agriculture and food policies is necessary.

If political awareness for the importance of fruit and vegetables intakes is growing, it still needs much more support and advocacy. Not only linking agricultural policy with public health, but emphasizing on reducing health inequalities, should be seen as one of the priority actions to change the burden of diet related non communicable diseases. The reduction of health inequalities means that fruit and vegetables are made available and accessible for the whole population, independent of income or other social measure. Consequently, besides educational and informational approaches to population behavioural change, concrete political and policy efforts at all levels (global, EU, national and local) are needed to increase efficiently fruit and vegetables consumption. It is clear that it represents one of the great challenges of the next decade.

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