5 A DAY FACT PAGE

The 5 A Day for Better Health Program is one of the first national nutrition programs to approach Americans with a simple, positive message - to eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day for better health. The program is jointly sponsored by the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Produce for Better Health Foundation, a nonprofit consumer education foundation representing the fruit and vegetable industry.




The graphics above link to these topics:
Goal
Program Objectives
Program Participants
Survey Findings
Scientific Rationale
Program Components and Activities
For More Information/ How You Can Get Involved!


Goal

To increase the average consumption of fruits and vegetables to 5 servings daily by the
year 2000.

Program Objectives

Program Participants

The two partners in this program are the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH). In this unprecedented national public/private partnership between the government and the produce industry, NCI has granted PBH a license to work with NCI to use the 5 A Day program and materials, sublicense industry participants, and to oversee the industry's 5 A Day activities.

PBH has licensed over 800 industry participants, including retailers, growers, shippers, packagers, merchandisers, commodity boards, trade associations, branded products, and others. These members represent over 35,000 supermarkets.

NCI has licensed nearly all state and territorial health agencies to coordinate 5 A Day activities at the state level. The national partnership is implemented at the community level through statewide coalitions, involving both industry and state licensees. Coalition participants include state and county health agencies, state departments of education, state departments of agriculture, cooperative extension, voluntary agencies, businesses, civic organizations, hospitals, and state dietetics associations.

Survey Findings

The 5 A Day Baseline Survey (conducted in the Fall of 1991) showed that only 8% of American adults thought they should eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day; only 23% did so. The average adult intake of fruits and vegetables in 1991 was about 3.5 servings per day. The 1994 and 1995 Omnibus Surveys showed an upward trend in the percent of Americans, 28% and 35% respectively, who thought they should eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Scientific Rationale

Recent scientific reviews support the 5 A Day concept. In reviews of more than 150 epidemiological studies it was found that for cancers of the digestive and respiratory tracts, people who consumed about 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily were at approximately half the risk of cancer as those who consumed fewer than 2 servings a day. The USDA's "Food Guide Pyramid" also endorses the daily consumption of 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables.