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Can eating five fruit and veg a day really keep the doctor away?

Chitwan Lalji, Debayan Pakrashi and Russell Smyth ()

No 37-16, Monash Economics Working Papers from Monash University, Department of Economics

Abstract: The ‘5-a-day’ fruit and vegetable campaign launched by the U.K government in 2003 laid emphasis on diet as an important determinant of population health. However, as of 2013, only 28% of women and 25% of men in Britain actually satisfied the recommended dietary intake of five portions of fruit and vegetables daily. Using data from the annual Health Survey for England, this paper estimates the association between daily intake of fruit and vegetables and various objective and subjective measures of health. We find that individuals who consume more portions of fruit daily report better overall health and have lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, compared to those who do not, while higher daily vegetable intake is associated with reduced risk of developing high blood pressure. Between fruit and vegetables, we find that consumption of fruit generally has stronger positive health outcomes. Our estimates, however, vary by gender, age and weight of the individual and exhibit considerable heterogeneity across different types of fruit and vegetables. We draw implications for diet promotional campaigns based on our results.

Keywords: self-assessed health; mental health; blood pressure; cholesterol; diet. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H51 I12 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46 pages
Date: 2016-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
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Journal Article: Can eating five fruit and veg a day really keep the doctor away? (2018) Downloads
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