Approximately 33% of adults residing in the UK and Ireland consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.

In terms of daily fruit and vegetable consumption, approximately 33% of adults in the UK and Ireland meet the recommended target, making them the highest-ranking countries among the 33 nations compared in the OECD figures. This habit of regularly consuming fruits and vegetables is linked to improved health outcomes, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. The World Health Organization advises individuals to consume at least 400g, or five or more portions, of fruits and vegetables each day.
The OECD data reveals that 33% of adults in both the UK and Ireland achieve this daily target. Following closely behind are Korea and Israel, with 32% reporting the consumption of five or more portions each day, and the Netherlands with 30%. In contrast, the figures stand at 20% for France, 15% for Portugal, and 11% for Germany. The OECD average is just 15%, less than half of the proportion seen in the UK and Ireland.
Rob Percival, the head of food policy at the Soil Association, remarks, “This may be the first time the UK has topped a European league table for the right reasons. We Brits are a nation of closet veggie chompers.” Anna Daniels, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, echoes this sentiment, expressing encouragement at the fact that one in three individuals in the UK and Ireland achieve the five a day target. She also suggests simple ways to improve consumption, such as adding spinach to pasta or peas to rice.
However, despite the positive statistics on fruit and vegetable consumption, the UK still maintains one of the highest obesity rates among developed countries, with approximately 26% of British adults classified as obese in the OECD data. This positions the UK, along with Chile, as the second-most obese nation out of the 35 countries analyzed, with the US topping the list at 34%. In contrast, Korea has the lowest obesity rate, with only 4% of its adults falling into this category.

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