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EU fruit and vegetable consumption: how much does your country eat?

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EU fruit and vegetable consumption: how much does your country eat?
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REUTERS / Fabrizio Bensch
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  • Around 1 in 4 people (27%) said they ate fruit at least twice a day, according to a survey of the European Union (EU) population in 2017.
  • A further 37% of the EU population said they ate fruit once a day and the remaining 36% ate fruit either less frequently or not at all during a typical week.
  • Compared with fruit consumption, a slightly smaller proportion of 23% of the EU population ate vegetables at least twice a day, and a slightly higher proportion of 40% ate vegetables once a day.

Fruit

Italy led all EU Member States in daily intake of fruit with 85% of the population while Portugal came in second at 81%, well above the EU average of 64%.

At the bottom of the list, three Member States had population where less than 40% ate fruit on a daily basis: Latvia 35 %, Bulgaria and Lithuania both at 37%.

Vegetables

When it comes to vegetable consumption, Ireland and Belgium had the highest proportion of the population who ate vegetables at least once a day, both at 84%.

In 18 of the 28 EU Member States, between 50% and 80% of the population reported that they ate vegetables daily with the EU average coming in at 64%.

There were five Member States in 2017 where the proportion was below 50%: Hungary 30%, Romania 41%, Latvia 44%, Lithuania and Bulgaria both at 45%.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends adults consume at least 400 grams (i.e. five portions) of fruit and vegetables per day, excluding potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other starchy roots.

WHO warns that reduced fruit and vegetable consumption is linked to poor health and increased risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The UN agency estimated 3.9 million deaths worldwide were attributable to inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption in 2017.

Survey results for Estonia, Czech Republic and the UK have low reliability, according to Eurostat, and have been excluded from the list.