Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), diabetes, obesity, cancers and respiratory diseases, all these, Noncommunicable diseases (NCD) are account for about 59% of death worldwide.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity and insufficient consumption of fruit and vegetables are five of the ten leading global disease risk factors, identified by WHO in 2002.
Consumption of alcohol and tobacco play key role in development of NCD, which frequently involve increasing risk of chronic conditions.
Fruit and vegetables are important components of a healthy diet, and their enough daily consumption could help prevent major diseases such as CVDs and certain cancers.
According to WHO low consumption of fruit and vegetables cause 31% of heart diseases and stroke. Million lives could potentially be saved each year if fruit and vegetable consumption were sufficiently increased worldwide.
For the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity as well as for the prevention and alleviation of several micronutrient deficiencies, intake of a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables per day (excluding potatoes and other starchy tubers) are recommended especially in less developed countries.
“5 A Day” type programmes are WHO efforts to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in the population to overcome risk of NCD.
WHO aims was to increase fruit and vegetable consumption through targeted campaigns and programs throughout world. They aim to enough quantities of fruit and vegetables should become part of the daily diet in all countries. This program was overall promotion of healthy diet and with some physical activity is effective to anticipate diseases and promote health.
To take initiative WHO started collecting data on Risk factor NCD which was very difficult, but was accomplished with help of minister of health and national statistics agencies
The WHO STEPS framework is the principal information-gathering tool in the global NCD risk factor surveillance project. It distinguishes between different levels of risk-factor assessment (self-reported behaviors, physical measurements and blood samples).
The framework is used to collect data on fruit and vegetable intake through four survey questions on the number of days per week and the number of servings per day that fruit and vegetables are eaten.
Food and Vegetable production
The general recommendation for daily intake of fruit and vegetables is more than 400 grams per person per day or about 150 kg per person per year. Fruit and vegetables are an important part of diet as they contain vitamins, essential micronutrients, fiber, vegetable proteins and bifunctional components.
The world’s demand for fruit and vegetables will increase in line with population expansion as, with rising standards of living and the awareness of the health benefits of fruit and vegetables, dietary patterns will change, and the consumption of fruit and vegetables per capita will increase.
Food and vegetable production are well adapted for small-scale production units and can provide relief for people at the individual household level as well as in health centers. Globe totally depends on horticulture for fruit and vegetables so, to increase its productivity we should promote urban horticulture and school gardens and green projects.
Fruits and Vegetables against Cancer
Fruit and vegetable have a protective effect against approximately all type of cancers.
- Fruit has a protective effect against colorectal cancer specially in woman.
- A protective effect against the risk of cancers of the lung and bladder.
- A protective effect against the risk of cancers of the mouth and pharynx, larynx and esophagus.
- A protective effect against the risk of cancers of the stomach and colorectum.
- A protective effect against the risk of cancers of the esophagus, breast, lung, stomach, and colorectum.
Hence fruit and vegetables are important components of a healthy diet, and their enough daily consumption could help prevent major diseases such as CVDs, diabetes, obesity, cancers, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, respiratory diseases and certain cancers risk of cancer can be greatly reduced by consumption of fruits and vegetables in diet on daily basis. Also benefits of increased fruit and vegetable consumption in populations also goes beyond specific cancer risks to other chronic diseases.
Authors: Sehrish Kiran , Ansa Rebi
University of Agriculture Faisalabad