One in three adults in Ireland eat five or more daily portions of fruit and veg

State tops league table for fruit and vegetable consumption with equal highest level in developed world

One in three adults in Ireland consume five or more portions of fruit and vegetables every day, equalling the highest in the developed world, a report suggests.

Regular consumption of fruit and veg is associated with improved health outcomes, particularly in lowering the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. The World Health Organisation recommends eating at least 400g – or five or more portions – each day.

Figures published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show that Ireland and the UK jointly top a table of 33 countries comparing how many people report having five portions a day. In both countries 33 per cent of adults hit the target on a daily basis.

The next highest ranking countries are Korea and Israel, where 32 per cent say they consume five or more portions a day, followed by the Netherlands (30 per cent). The figure is 20 per cent in France, 15 per cent in Portugal, and 11 per cent in Germany. The OECD average is 15 per cent – less than half the figure in Ireland.


Ireland fares slightly worse in the number who eat vegetables every day. Among those over 15 years of age, 75 per cent eat some vegetables every day, putting the country in sixth place.

Women are more likely than men to get their five portions in all OECD countries except Greece and Korea. Ireland had the third widest gender gap after Denmark and Finland.

Irish people were slightly below average for exercise in the study, with 37 per cent spending 150 minutes a week on physical activity compared to the OECD average of 40 per cent. – Additional reporting by The Guardian