Highland Health 
Highlanders need to increase fruit and vegetable intake

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Highland Health

Highlanders are putting their health at risk by failing to eat adequate quantities of fruit and vegetables. This is the warning given by Highland Health Board today. Writing on the Highland Think-Net site www.think-net.org, Health Promotion Specialist Fiona Clarke says that the evidence about the benefits from a healthy diet is now well-established.

A dietitian, Fiona said: The single most important thing you can do is to eat a minimum of five fruit and vegetables a day. The average intake in Highland is two portions a day.  She says there are many barriers to achieving the basic healthy minimum of five portions a day, of which access to suitable supplies is obviously a factor, but availability and cost are not the only factors to be tackled.

A plan endorsed by the Scottish Parliament includes actions such as shaping consumer tastes, through practical advice to parents and children, and general stimulus of consumer demand through the marketing and supply of vegetables, and also of leaner meat and fish.  She said: "This means there are opportunities for local food development. The Scottish Plan says that it is ironic that Scotland has an international reputation for producing high quality foods and for consuming a poor diet. It says that the opportunities therefore exist for Scottish food to make a much more powerful contribution to the overall economy not just through exports, but by substituting some currently imported foods to generate stable home markets.

As part of the current Think-Net discussion on Highland health, Highland Health Board is now seeking comments and suggestions which could encourage fruit and vegetable consumption and general dietary improvements in the region. The discussion is open to everyone.