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Seven+ Daily Portions of Fruit, Vegetables Cut Mortality

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with reduced mortality, with benefits seen for consumption of seven or more portions per day, according to a study published online March 31 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Oyinlola Oyebode, Ph.D., from University College London, and colleagues examined the correlation between fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular mortality in the general, non-institutionalized population in England. The associations were assessed using data from 65,226 participants (aged >35 years) in the 2001 to 2008 Health Surveys for England, linked with mortality data.

The researchers observed an association between fruit and vegetable consumption and reduced all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio for seven or more portions versus less than one portion, 0.67). A more pronounced correlation was seen on exclusion of deaths within one year of baseline (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.58). Consumption of fruit and vegetables also correlated with decreased cancer and cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratios, 0.75 and 0.69, respectively). The correlation with mortality seemed to be stronger for vegetables (hazard ratio for two to three portions, 0.81) than for fruit (hazard ratio for two to three portions, 0.90). Per portion, the consumption of vegetables or salad was most protective (hazard ratios, 0.85 and 0.87, respectively), while an increased risk of mortality was seen for frozen/canned fruit (hazard ratio, 1.17).

"With increasing evidence of their health benefits, policy-makers may need to consider broader initiatives to promote fruit and vegetable consumption, particularly vegetables and salad," the authors write.

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