Bowl-of-fruitHealthy eating guidelines could be up for review if results from a recent study are taken seriously. The study of 12,000 Australians, aged from 15 to 93, showed that eating eight or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day improved mental well-being and also contributed to better physical health.  The research found that the well-being benefits were much higher for women than men and that solely eating fruit had a greater impact on overall mental health than eating vegetables.

The study, by health economics researcher, Dr Redzo Mujcic from the University of Queensland School of Pharmacy, appears to challenge the healthy-eating guidelines promoted by many governments around the world.

“Many public health messages, such as World Health Organization guidelines, promote the consumption of five serves of fruit and vegetables daily.” While the combined portion of eight or more might seem high, these latest findings are closely in line with recent studies from the UK and New Zealand, Dr Mujcic said. In his opinion, “current guidelines are in need of review.”

He added that less than 25 per cent of Australian adults eat the optimum bundle of fruit and vegetables daily.  Further, participants were at their happiest eating five portions of fruit and four of vegetables each day.

Large-scale randomised control trials were needed to better inform existing public health messages and social policy, he said.

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