HC Deb 25 March 2003 vol 402 c197W
Dr. Gibson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action the Government is taking to increase awareness about the health benefits of fruit and vegetables in preventing cancer. [101389]

Ms Blears

Action to increase awareness of the 5-a-day message, which includes the benefits of fruit and vegetables in helping to reduce the risk of some cancers—as well as what counts towards the 5-a-day target and how much is portion—is being taken forward through the 5-a-d ay programme.

The 5-a-day programme aims to increase fruit and vegetable consumption through targeted action to improve awareness of the health benefits, and access to, fruit and vegetables, particularly in disadvantaged areas. Through the communications programme, one strand of the 5-a-day programme, resources to explain the 5-a-day message and ways of increasing fruit and vegetable intake have been produced and will be distributed through primary care settings. The National School Fruit Scheme, another strand of the 5-a-day programme, provides information materials for parents and children that also promotes the 5-a-day message. Also, a 5-a-day logo has been developed, for use in all settings, as a way of ensuring consistency in the 5-a-day message. 66 local 5-a-day community initiatives, another strand of the 5-a-day programme and supported by £10 million from the New Opportunities Fund, will also increase awareness through local media campaigns and work with schools, primary care, community groups and workplaces. Other activities include working with the food industry to ensure consistent and clear 5-a-day messages.