As well as being a tasty and colourful addition to your daily diet, fruit helps protect you against serious diseases Fruit should be enjoyed every day. To encourage Hong Kong people to eat more of the healthy food, the Department of Health is launching Joyful Fruit Day this Thursday, April 17. The aim of this event is to encourage teachers and students to eat fruit together and to commit to sustaining this habit. Thousands of students are set to take part in Joyful Fruit Day, and various age-specific promotional activities have been proposed. For example, secondary school students are encouraged to produce 30-second video clips to promote fruit consumption, while an award scheme for pre-primary children have been suggested, where children record their daily fruit intake on Fruit Diary Cards. Go to school.eatsmart.gov.hk for more information. Why is fruit so important? Eating fruit and vegetables reduces our chances of developing high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and some cancers in later life. Research shows that, for every serving eaten, it is up to 40 per cent less likely you will have a stroke and up to 20 per cent less likely you will develop cancers. Fruits and vegetables contain a wide range of vitamin and minerals, plus fibre and plant nutrients which reduce damage to our genetic material. If you think you can get the same protection from vitamin supplements, think again - scientists believe it's the whole fruit package that counts. That's why the American and British Dietetic Association, the Department of Health, US Department of Agriculture and World Health Organisation recommend eating two to four servings of fruit and three to five servings of vegetables daily.