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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007, 12:28 GMT
Brits buying more fruit and veg
fruit and veg
Experts recommend five portions of fruit and veg a day
Brits are buying record amounts of fruit and veg - the biggest increase for 20 years - a survey finds.

Household expenditure rose by 12.9% for fruit and 6.3% for veg and fell for confectionary, soft drinks and alcohol.

The government statistics suggest healthy eating messages are getting through to the public, ministers said.

But they warned there was no room for complacency and said health promotion initiatives must continue to drive forward change.

Health experts recommend we eat at least five portions of fruit or vegetables each day.

Healthy trends

Household spends on cheese, eggs and milk also increased, with a continuing switch from whole milk to semi skimmed milk.

There was also an increase in intake of fibre, the Expenditure and Food Survey by DEFRA found.

Confectionary spends fell by 6.1%, following small rises in recent years. Alcohol purchases, both at home and in restaurants, fell by 3.1%

We cannot be complacent and must continue to encourage these trends
Jeff Rooker, minister for sustainable food and farming

Estimated average intake of vitamin C also rose by 6.8%, in keeping with the 7.7% rise in purchases of fruit and vegetables.

Fat intake, measured by its percentage contribution to food energy intake, dropped very slightly to 38.1%. The energy contribution from saturated fatty acids dropped to 14.6%.

There was a small rise in salt intake, but experts said this might have been a reporting error rather than a true rise.

Jeff Rooker, minister for sustainable food and farming said: "These healthier trends in food purchases are promising, but we cannot be complacent, and must continue to encourage these trends, through healthy eating initiatives, like the 5 A DAY programme.

"Consumers must remember that the food choices they make can have a big difference not only to their health, but to their environment, and our countryside," he added.

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