Healthy Eating ‘5-a-day’ logo Unveiled

The government’s new logo reminding people of the benefits of eating five portions of fruit a day has been launched today. The logo is part of a wider strategy to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and generally improve the health of the nation.

Hazel Blears the public health minister explained the advantages gained from the readily identifiable emblem: ‘The 5-a-day logo is backed by nutritional advice so that consumers can trust it. If the logo appears on a product, people can be confident that it will count towards the recommended daily target for fruit and vegetables and that they aren't eating too much salt, sugar or fat at the same time.’

However two major supermarkets have spurned the initiative amid arguments concerning what types of composite and processed foods might qualify for inclusion in the scheme. Tesco and Sainsbury’s have so far failed to sign up to the scheme, the first maintaining it is still engaged in talks with the government and the latter preparing to introduce its own initiative in May.

Department of Health

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH - Press release

A new 5 A DAY logo, designed to be a trusted and reassuring symbol
that reminds people of the benefits of eating five portions of fruit
and vegetables a day has been unveiled to consumers for the first
time by the Department of Health today.

Over the next few months, the new logo will start to appear in
supermarkets and on food packaging. The logo, which is part of a
wider strategy to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and
generally improve the health of the nation, can be used on fresh,
chilled, frozen, canned and dried fruit and vegetables which do not
have any added sugar, salt or fat. To carry the logo, foods must
contain at least one portion of fruit or vegetables.

The new logo, which is supported by the message 'Just Eat More (fruit
and veg), aims to increase awareness of the health benefits of fruit
and vegetables and will provide clear and consistent messages about 5
A DAY.

To make it easier for people to count whether they are achieving
their 5 A DAY, a portion indicator has been developed for use on food
packaging. This will help people see how many portions of fruit or
vegetables are in a typical serving - for example, a carton of pure
fruit juice or a can of vegetables.

If a product contains one portion (roughly 80g) of fruit or
vegetables per serving, one square of the portion indicator will be
shaded. If a typical serving would give you two portions, two squares
will be shaded. Because eating a variety of fruit and vegetables is
important, the maximum number of portions that can be claimed per
serving is two.

The 5 A DAY logo seeks to dispel current 'myths' about what counts
towards meeting the 5 A DAY target. According to a recent survey,
nearly four fifths (79%) of people incorrectly believe that a jacket
potato should count towards their daily intake, two fifths (41%)
thought rice should count and one in eight (13%) thought strawberry
jam should count.

To help explain 'what counts' supporting materials, including
leaflets, will be made available in GPs' surgeries throughout the
country.

Public Health Minister Hazel Blears said:

'Consumers want healthy choices to be easy choices, so they need
accurate, consistent advice on how to reach the 5 A DAY target.

'The 5 A DAY logo is backed by nutritional advice so that consumers
can trust it. If the logo appears on a product, people can be
confident that it will count towards the recommended daily target for
fruit and vegetables and that they aren't eating too much salt, sugar
or fat at the same time. The portion indicator shows that you can
take it one step at a time to reach your target - you can do it if
you just eat more fruit and vegetables.'

Sir Paul Nurse, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, said: 'We know
from our own research that eating five a day can significantly lower
the risk of some cancers. We welcome this new logo which will help
people make healthy choices more easily.'

Dr Mark Porter commented: 'Research suggests that if everyone ate at
least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day it could lead to as
much as a 20% reduction in the number of deaths from the country's
three biggest killers - heart disease, stroke and cancer - making it
one of the most effective, and important, of today's disease
prevention campaigns.'

Notes for editors

1. The 5 A DAY logo has been developed in consultation with industry,
health professionals, the voluntary sector, consumers and other
Government departments.

2. The health message is that 'at least 5 portions of a variety of
fruit and vegetables should be eaten each day', which equates
approximately to 80g per portion. Fresh, cooked, frozen, chilled,
canned and dried forms of fruits and vegetables all count as well as
100% fruit and vegetable juice. The following constitute one portion;
2 satsumas, 3 tablespoons of frozen vegetables, 1 cereal bowl of
green salad, 1 tablespoon of dried fruit or 3 tablespoons of tinned
fruit. In general most fruit and vegetables count, but starchy,
staple vegetables, such as rice, pasta, potatoes, yams and cassava do
not. 100% fruit and vegetable juices count, as do beans and pulses,
but only once a day, even if more than one portion is consumed.

3. For the 5 A DAY portion indicator, a serving is defined as the
amount of a product that you would normally eat - manufacturers
usually recommend a typical serving on product packs.

4. At present, only products without any added sugar, fat or salt may
carry the 5 A DAY logo or portion indicator. Nutrition criteria for
fruit and vegetable products which contain added salt, sugars or fats
are currently being considered. While the message to eat more fruits
and vegetables is an important one, this needs to be considered in
the context of advice to reduce consumption of fat, salt and added
sugars and as part of an overall, healthy, balanced diet.

5. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2001), which is jointly
funded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Department of
Health, found that:

- Overall only 13% of men and 15% of women ate five or more portions
of fruit and vegetables a day.

- Average daily consumption among adults was around 3 portions - 2.7
for men and 2.9 for women Food Standards Agency, National Diet and
Nutrition Survey 2002 for adults aged between 19-64.

6. The statistics used to highlight the food items which people
thought should count towards their daily five a day fruit and
vegetable intake were sourced from a statistical press release
'Statistics on public awareness of the 5 A DAY message and attitudes
to the consumption of fruit and vegetables', Department of Health,
January 2003. The statistical press release presents results from a
survey of around 1,800 adults aged 16 and over in Great Britain on
public awareness of the Five-a-day message, carried out in 2002.

7. For more information about the 5 A DAY programme, as well as a
list of what counts towards the 5 A DAY target and portion sizes,
visit www.doh.gov.uk/fiveaday

-ENDS-

For more information please contact or Caroline
Macaulay
on: 0207 210 5239 / 5329 or e-mail
[email protected] or

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