The British eat more green vegetables than Norwegians

FruitPhoto: Opplysningskontoret for frukt og grønt.

Many of us have some prejudices regarding notions of the bad British diet.


A new survey shows that Britain is the country in Europe that is at the peak of consumption of fruit and vegetables. What are the British doing that has lifted them to the level that they occupy today?

‘For the first time, a consumer survey has been conducted where we measured people’s fruit and vegetables intake (related to the 5 a day recommendations published in many European countries). The survey, named ‘5 a day Europe’, was
conducted by Kantar TNS, and commissioned by the Information Office for Fruit and Vegetables.

The same collection methods were used in all countries, and the survey was conducted at the same time, with exactly the same questions. It gives an accurate
comparison basis between countries in Europe’, said Tore Angelsen of the Information Office for Fruit and Vegetables.

The purpose of the survey was first and foremost to get as accurate a picture as possible of how we live in this country, so to have a practical tool for measuring progress towards the goal of increasing intake of fruit and vegetables by 20% by 2021. Additionally, it is instructive to get good comparable figures from Europe.

Only 1 in 4 people in Norway eat the recommended 5 a day

5 a day is important dietary advice. It is well known, and virtually everyone thinks the idea is good, but only one in four people achieve the goal.

Norway shows the best results in Scandinavia, but we are not far ahead of Sweden and Denmark. The percentage of the population who eat at least 5 servings of fruit/berries and vegetables on a daily basis is approximately 24% in Norway, 19% in Sweden, and 18% in Denmark.

‘We now want to look into what measures they have taken in the UK, and what we can learn from these,’ said Guttorm Rebnes at the Information Office for Fruit and

From three to five servings a day is a good policy
The new report shows us that in Norway, we average just under three of the recommended five portions, in other words, we have a piece left before we reach the goal. In the Intensification Agreement for the facilitation of healthier diets, both industry and commerce have undertaken to contribute.

There are positive health benefits for the individual, and it’s good for the economy if more people eat a little more colourful food.

In the Health Directorate’s own report, the Social benefits from following the Directorate’s Board of Health’s dietary guidelines (published in March 2016), were calculated on an annual social cost of not eating 5 a day, which could be MRD NOK 37.6. In other words, there is no doubt that it is advisable to increase consumption.

‘We are looking forward to the meeting between the Business Group and the Minister for Healthon Thursday the 23rd of November, where we hope that good proposals for action will be on the table,’ concluded Guttorm Rebnes.


Source: Opplysningskontoret for frukt og grønt / Norway Today