The cost of low consumption

Low consumption of fruit and vegetables is linked to poor health and increased risk of non-communicable diseases (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, chronic lung disease) (World Health Organisation, 2019). In 2017, 82% of health loss across New Zealand was related to non-communicable diseases, with cancer and heart diseases being the most prominent (Ministry of Health, 2020). In 2017, an estimated 3.9 million deaths worldwide were related to low fruit and vegetable consumption (World Health Organisation, 2019).

Vegetables and fruit have been shown to protect against heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure (World Health Organisation, 2019).

There is evidence that fresh produce protects against cancers of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, oesophagus and stomach. (World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research 2018). These studies have also identified that micronutrients found in fruit can be an effective protector from lung cancer (World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research 2018).

World Health Organisation. (2019, 11/02/2019). Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases.

Retrieved from:
World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Expert Report 2018. Wholegrains, vegetables, and fruit and the risk of cancer. Available at

Ministry of Health. 2020. Longer, Healthier Lives: New Zealand’s Health 1990–2017. Wellington: Ministry of Health.