Here's a new phrase to mark the end of the work week: TGIFF.
From this week to August 31, the World Cancer Research Fund Hong Kong wants you to have Fruity Fridays by having 'just one more' portion of fruit or vegetables. This annual campaign, now in its eighth year, aims to promote this simple step towards reducing cancer risk.
According to the Health Department, only one in five people in Hong Kong meets the recommendation of five portions of fruit and vegetables daily. This is one of the reasons close to 40 per cent of the city's adults are overweight or even obese (body mass index of 30 or more); evidence shows a diet based on plant foods that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses helps in weight management. Along with regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight, such a diet can reduce cancer risk by up to one-third.
Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals that help to keep the body healthy and protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer. There is also evidence that they help to lower the risk of heart disease, protect against stroke and high blood pressure and help manage diabetes.
A good way to eat more healthily is to put fruits and vegetables within arm's reach. A study published in the US journal Environment & Behavior in April found that apples and carrots placed close to college students were likelier to be eaten than if placed at a table two metres away.
Interestingly, the researchers also found that making the food more visible to participants by placing them in clear bowls increased the intake of apples but not carrots.
The researchers said this might be because fruit is sweeter and may induce more motivation to eat than bitter-tasting vegetables.
How well do you know your fruit and vegetables? Test yourself here.
1. The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of how many grams of fruit and vegetables daily?
a. 200 grams
b. 400 grams
c. 600 grams
2. Which of the following constitutes one portion of fruit for an adult?
a. A medium-sized apple or orange
b. Half a large banana
c. A handful of blueberries
3. Why should you be wary of rotting apples?
a. They generate patulin, a mycotoxin
b. The acid may burn your mouth
c. Flesh-eating maggots hide in the core
4. Which of the following is commonly known as a vegetable, but botanically classified as a fruit?
Answers: 1. b; 2. all are correct (each about 80 grams); 3. a; 4. a
Support the campaign as an individual, family or corporation. Sign up at fruityfriday-hk.org, tel: 25295025, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org