Study shows global need to produce more fruits and vegetables

Aug 15, 2014
"There is a strong relationship between higher fruit and vegetable consumption and lower mortality," says Karen Siegel, MPH, in the Hubert Department of Global Health at Rollins School of Public Health.

The global supply of fruits and vegetables falls short of the needs of the population, according to a study by researchers at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health.

Low fruit and is a leading risk factor for death and disability globally and is attributed to approximately 1.7 million annual deaths worldwide. With current global dietary guidelines recommending a daily fruit and vegetable consumption of at least five servings, researchers analyzed whether the supply of fruits and vegetables is sufficient to meet current and growing population needs.

"There is a strong relationship between higher fruit and and lower mortality," says Karen Siegel, MPH, in the Hubert Department of Global Health at Rollins School of Public Health. "This relationship extends to major chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Although much of the world's population does not consume the recommended servings, if health professionals are to encourage these recommendations, we must also consider the shortage of supply."

Using and agriculture databases, the team compared the of fruits and vegetables  (supply)  with the recommended dietary intake (demand) for the year 2012. They also projected the supply and demand for 2025 and 2050. 

Findings suggest that the global supply of fruits and vegetables falls 22 percent short of  the global population's needs and approximately 95 percent short in lower income countries. An estimated fruit and vegetable supply gap of 34 percent and 43 percent was projected for years 2025 and 2050 respectively, if current production levels remain constant.

"Our research is significant because it shows that these gaps may only worsen with time, particularly for low-income countries," K.M. Venkat Narayan, MD, Ruth and O.C. Hubert Chair of Global Health at Rollins School of Public Health and study co-author. "This information sets the stage for further analyses and a deeper look into policy levels for increasing production and supply. Change is possible."

The complete study is available in the August 6, 2014 edition of PLOS ONE.

Explore further: Five daily portions of fruit and vegetables may be enough to lower risk of death

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Most kids eat fruit, veggies daily: CDC

Jul 16, 2014

(HealthDay)—More than three-quarters of U.S. children eat fruit on any given day, and nearly 92 percent dig into vegetables in a 24-hour period, a new U.S. health survey reveals.

Recommended for you

China bans ivory carving imports for one year

5 hours ago

Beijing has imposed a one-year ban on the import of ivory carvings, amid international criticism that rapidly-growing Chinese demand could push wild African elephants to extinction within a generation.

Forest tree seeds stored in the Svalbard seed vault

22 hours ago

A new method for the conservation of the genetic diversity of forest trees will see its launch on 26 February 2015, as forest tree seeds are for the first time stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the Spitsbergen Island, ...

Baby sea turtles starved of oxygen by beach microbes

22 hours ago

On a small stretch of beach at Ostional in Costa Rica, hundreds of thousands of sea turtles nest simultaneously in events known as arribadas. Because there are so many eggs in the sand, nesting females freque ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.