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Sizing up fruit and veg still a mystery for most Britons

A major charity initiative between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco has discovered that UK understanding about portion sizes is still lacking when it comes to fruit and veg.

A survey [1] commissioned by the  National Charity Partnership, a partnership between the three organisations, found that whilst the 5 a day message is very familiar, only 23 percent know what one portion of fruit and veg should look like. 

This month the National Charity Partnership is launching a series of UK events to help introduce an easy life hack – that one handful of fruit and veg is approximately one portion. The partnership is also offering motivation to achieve the five a day goal through its Let’s Do This 8 Week Challenge.

The Hands on Healthy Eating [2] campaign will see a series of UK roadshows travelling the country during October and November. The activities aim to raise awareness of correct portion sizes and provide inspiration on different ways for people to include more fruit and vegetables into their diets.

Key facts:

  • 80g, of fruit or vegetable counts as 1 portion of your 5 a day (equivalent to 30g of dried fruit/veg or 150ml of juice/smoothie), approximately a handful.
  • There are five ways to get your five a day: fresh, frozen, tinned, dried and juiced
  • Choose a variety of fruits and veg to benefit from the range of nutrients they provide


Katherine Hale, Prevention Programme Manager for the National Charity Partnership, said: “We all know that we should aim for five portions of fruit and veg a day, but if we don’t know what a portion really is, it’s difficult to achieve. Fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can reduce your risk of developing serious long-term conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. We should aim to include at least one portion of fruit and veg in every meal and make them the first choice when it comes to snacking in between meals.”

The National Charity Partnership between Diabetes UK, the BHF and Tesco is working to help millions of people look after their bodies and reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease by moving more and eating healthily through its Let’s Do This campaign.

You can find out more about portion size and healthy eating by visiting

Why not set yourself a goal to eat more fruit and vegetables on the Let’s Do This 8 Week Challenge?


Notes to editors:

  1. Survey of 2,000 UK people. Mortar London. August 2017.
  • Only 23% of respondents correctly answered the question ‘What is the recommended portion of fruit and veg for adults/children?’ with A cupped handful
  • 51% answered with a different amount
  • 26% answered I Don’t know
  1. The Hands on Healthy Eating project will deliver a series of activities in five shopping centres around the UK throughout October and November 2017. The activities aim to educate and motivate shoppers to have healthier eating habits by understanding more about portion sizes of fruit and vegetables. The dates and locations are outlined below:
    1. 28th & 29th October  – Gwledd Conwy Feast
    2. 3rd & 4th November  – Lewisham shopping centre, London,
    3. 6th, 7th, 8th November – Castle Court shopping centre, Belfast
    4. 10th, 11th, 12th November – Meadowhall shopping centre, Sheffield
    5. 15th & 16th November – Buchannan galleries, Glasgow