Is 7 a day really better than 5 a day?

Robert J Hancox, Associate Professor,
June 04, 2014

These impressive data have been widely reported. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables seems to be a good idea, but I am concerned at how the need to eat 7+ portions a day to obtain maximum benefit has been reported. As far as I can tell, the estimates for "daily" consumption were based on a single day. Few people eat exactly the same every day and regression to the mean suggests that most of those who ate 7+ portions on the day of the survey will not have sustained such high levels of consumption over the 7.7 years of follow-up. While these people probably continued to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and gain health benefits from doing so, isn't it misleading to extrapolate the quantity of fruit and vegetable eaten in one day into a recommendation for regular daily consumption?

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

Conflict of Interest

None declared