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.
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More Information/ How You Can Get Involved!
To increase the average consumption of fruits and vegetables to 5 servings
daily by the
- To increase public awareness of the importance of eating at least 5
servings of fruits and vegetables every day for better health; and
- To provide consumers specific information about how to incorporate more
servings of fruits and vegetables into daily eating patterns.
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.
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.
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.