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Monday, 9 October, 2000, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Fruit and veg drive launched
furit stall
Fruit and veg consumption cuts cancer risk
Cancer charities have thrown their weight behind a government initiative to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables.

Around 1m is being pumped into schemes to target nearly one million people in needy communities.

A series of food projects has been launched in Durham, Somerset, Kent, Yorkshire and the West Midlands to coincide with Europe Against Cancer Week.

The overall aim is to ensure better access to fruit and vegetables and increased awareness that eating five portions of fruit and vegetables daily reduces the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

Projects will include:

  • setting up community cafes with food tastings
  • setting up fruit and veg gardens and allotments
  • co-opting football coaches at West Bromwich Albion to promote fruit and vegetables
  • special promotions in supermarkets
  • putting flyers in wage slips.
Chance for healthy eating

Gordon McVie, director general of the Cancer Research Campaign applauded the initiative which, he said, gave a million people the chance to eat more healthily.

"The habits and routines that we adopt early in life can raise or lower our risk of cancer...

"Our research shows that parents from disadvantaged areas know of the benefits of fruit and veg, but they often don't live near the shops that sell it and they haven't always got the money to pay for it."

Cancer tsar, Dr Mike Richards added: "Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is the second most effective strategy to reduce the risk of cancer, after reducing smoking."

A new scheme to provide free fruit for schoolchildren will also be launched in November.

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See also:

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30 May 00 | Health
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21 Jun 00 | Health
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