Study: Eat 7 servings of fruit, veggies daily
March 31st, 2014
06:31 PM ET

Study: Eat 7 servings of fruit, veggies daily

You know the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"? Turns out eating one apple isn't enough. A new study suggests people who eat up to seven servings of fruit and vegetables a day can cut their risk of premature death by 42% - and that vegetables may be more important than fruit to your overall health.

The study, conducted by scientists in the United Kingdom, was published online Monday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The study

Researchers looked at data from more than 65,000 adults over age 35 who participated in the Healthy Surveys for England study between 2001 and 2008.

HSE surveyors had asked participants about their fruit and vegetable consumption during a 24-hour time period. Portion sizes were defined by the UK's Department of Health to be about 80 grams (equivalent to just under 3 ounces). The new study authors compared this nutrition information to mortality data for the group over the following eight or so years.

The results

The participants ate an average of 3.8 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Older, non-smoking women tended to eat more than other demographic groups. Produce consumption was also linked to participants' body mass indexes; those who ate more fruit and vegetables tended to have a lower BMI.

The researchers found that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can be protective against cancer, heart disease and all other causes of death. Eating at least seven servings was best, but each serving increase was associated with a lower risk of death.

To make sure they weren't counting people who were seriously ill at the time of the survey, researchers excluded deaths that occurred in the year following the data collection. When they did so, they found that people who ate at least seven daily servings of fruit and vegetables had a 42% lower risk of death from all causes during the study's follow-up period than those who ate less than one daily serving.

When researchers broke it down by cause of death, veggie lovers had a 25% lower risk of dying from cancer, and a 31% lower risk of dying from heart disease or stroke during that same period.

Vegetables seemed to provide a greater health benefit than fruit. Eating more than three or four servings of fruit daily didn't increase a study participant's chance of survival, the study authors concluded.

Study limits

HSE surveyors only recorded one day of each study particpant's fruit and vegetable consumption. On that day, the participant could have eaten more or less produce than they would normally consume.

Researchers also did not include participants' total caloric intake, salt consumption or fat consumption in their analysis.

As the study authors say, their data shows a "strong association, but not necessarily a causal relationship."


Eat more vegetables. Even if you, like many of the study participants, believe you're eating an overall healthy diet, you "need to aim higher," according to an editorial accompanying the study.

This study follows previous research presented at the American College of Cardiology's annual session last week. Dr. Michael Miedema and his colleagues found that women who ate eight to nine servings of fruit and vegetables in their 20s were 40% less likely to have dangerous plaque in their arteries in their 40s.

"There is value in knowing how the choices we make early in life have lifelong benefits," Miedema said in a press release.

So fill up on salad. Snack on raw carrots. And yes - eat that apple.

soundoff (715 Responses)
  1. Internet Marketing Service Near Me

    Hello! I just would like to offer you a big thumbs up for your excellent info you have got right here on this post. I will be returning to your website for more soon.


    May 9, 2021 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Digital Marketing Job

    I want to to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post…


    May 9, 2021 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Shoshana Leyh

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs


    May 10, 2021 at 06:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Local Marketing Services

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am having problems with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 10, 2021 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Video Marketing Association


    May 10, 2021 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Colton

    I've been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. Its pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.


    May 10, 2021 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Social Media Marketing Center


    May 11, 2021 at 05:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Internet Marketing Agency


    May 11, 2021 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Video Marketing Maker

    bookmarked!!, I like your site!


    May 11, 2021 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Internet Marketing Programs

    I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your information. This article has really peaked my interest. I will take a note of your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.


    May 11, 2021 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Caitlyn Bylund

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    May 11, 2021 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. interior repair near me

    I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!


    May 11, 2021 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. travel trailers for sale in orange county ca


    May 12, 2021 at 00:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. rv upgrade store

    I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I came across this in my search for something relating to this.


    May 12, 2021 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. geico commercial horse


    May 12, 2021 at 01:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Steps California


    May 12, 2021 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. ocrv storage


    May 12, 2021 at 02:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. paint repair shop near me


    May 12, 2021 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sprinter Van Repair Fountain Valley

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I came across this in my search for something relating to this.


    May 12, 2021 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rv repair santa fe


    May 12, 2021 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Refrigerator California


    May 12, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me


    May 12, 2021 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. upholstery places near me

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the most useful sites on the net. I most certainly will highly recommend this website!


    May 12, 2021 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. bus repair shops


    May 12, 2021 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Sprinter Van Side Repair Price


    May 12, 2021 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Steps Near Me

    Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this web site.


    May 12, 2021 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Batteries Near Me


    May 12, 2021 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. travel trailer floor repair videos

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I found this in my hunt for something concerning this.


    May 13, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Sprinter Repair Codes


    May 13, 2021 at 04:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Dent Repair California


    May 13, 2021 at 05:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. slide out repair


    May 13, 2021 at 06:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. rv repair services


    May 13, 2021 at 06:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Dent Repair Los Angeles

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It's the little changes that will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    May 13, 2021 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Lighting Orange County


    May 13, 2021 at 08:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. camper van near me


    May 13, 2021 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Cabinet Orange County

    Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 13, 2021 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. awnings in orange county


    May 13, 2021 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Couches Near Me


    May 13, 2021 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. best rv upgrades

    I'm excited to find this page. I want to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to see new information on your web site.


    May 13, 2021 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Chevy Van Repair Panels


    May 13, 2021 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. remodeling near me

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the greatest websites on the internet. I am going to highly recommend this site!


    May 13, 2021 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. rv dealers in orange county ca


    May 13, 2021 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. 2009 Stuck Intake Dodge Sprinter Repair


    May 13, 2021 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. repair rv slide out

    There's definately a lot to know about this issue. I like all of the points you have made.


    May 14, 2021 at 04:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. rv doctor near me


    May 14, 2021 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Chevy Van Repair

    bookmarked!!, I love your site!


    May 14, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. rv furniture near me


    May 14, 2021 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Upholstery Los Angeles

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit yet again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    May 14, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. rv renovations near me

    Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    May 14, 2021 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. stornobrzinol

    Hey! I could have sworn I've been to this website before but after checking through some of the post I realized it's new to me. Anyhow, I'm definitely delighted I found it and I'll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!


    May 14, 2021 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.