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Norwegian children eat the most fruit in Europe

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Children fruit
Habit   Children eat more fruit than vegetables

Children across Europe eat far less fruit and vegetables than they should, according to the latest figures from the European Survey Pro Greens.

The average intake stands at 220-345 grams per day, while the World Health Organization recommends that we eat at least 400 grams daily.

The European Pro Greens survey analysed the eating habits of 8,158 11-year-olds from 236 schools over ten countries throughout Europe.

Norwegian children ended up on top with 345 grams of fruit and vegetables daily, followed by Bulgaria with 320 grams. Finland was in last place with 220 grams.

But the Norwegian position is mainly due to eating more fruit, as on the vegetables front, Swedish children take the lead. 60% responded that they eat vegetables every day.

In all countries surveyed, children eat more fruit than vegetables, probably because children find the taste of fruit better than that of vegetables, but also because fruit is readily available as a snack between meals.

"The survey also shows a contrast between genders in terms of diet. Outside of country differences, girls usually eat more fruits and vegetables than boys," says Agneta Yngve, coordinator of the study and professor of nutritional science at Örebro University.

The study concludes that there is a need for promotional activities to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables in this age group.

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