« Vegetables and fruits - from latest science to policy in action »
There is strong evidence that vegetables, fruits and other foods containing dietary fi bre protect against a range of cancers as well as protecting against weight gain and obesity. Because of this one of the World Cancer Research Fund’s 10 Recommendations for Cancer Prevention is “Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and pulses such as beans”. But research is still a long way from knowing exactly how such plant foods exert a protective effect. New approaches to better understand the complex interactions that lead to cancer and the benefi cial effects of fruits and vegetables and other plant foods are under way and hold promise for the future, as outlined in the fi rst article.
Cancer can take many years, indeed decades, to develop and so it’s important to start young when developing healthy eating habits. After the family, schools usually have the greatest infl uence on children. Schools help shape habits and ways of life that can often persist into adulthood. For this reason schools are identifi ed as a key actor group in the WCRF Policy Report, Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention.
School based initiatives have been used in many countries to help increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption. The second article examines why these initiatives work, why sometimes they don’t and what can be done to design more effective policies to boost fruit and vegetable intake in schools.