Study links fruit and veg supply issues to raised blood pressure

Posted: 21 March 2023 | | No comments yet

Researchers have claimed that lower income countries that have a reduced availability of fruit and vegetables are at risk of higher levels of raised blood pressure.

blood pressure

University researchers have investigated the link between fruit and vegetable consumption and blood pressure.

Dr James Bentham, Senior Lecturer in Statistics at the University of Kent, along with his colleague Dr Linda Oude Griep at the University of Cambridge, analysed supply trends from 1975 to 2015 and examined whether they met the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations of 400g of fruit and vegetables a day to lower the risk of serious health problems.

As part of the investigation, the researchers examined associations with systolic, diastolic, and raised blood pressure, using data on fruit and vegetable supply and blood pressure across 159 countries.

The results indicated that “increased availability of fruit and vegetables resulted in lower levels of raised blood pressure, nationally”.

What’s more the researchers also claimed that, of the countries analysed, nearly half do not have access to enough fruits and vegetables, something that is reportedly a “particular problem” in low-income countries.

“Lower income countries that have a reduced availability of fruit and veg, are therefore at risk of higher levels of raised blood pressure,” said Dr Bentham.

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‘In the UK we are currently experiencing fruit and vegetable rationing and whilst this happens occasionally in this country, limited fruit and vegetable supply because of a lack of logistics is a permanent issue in a lot of parts of the world.”

Stating that the results of the study underpin the “urgent” need for national and international policies to expand fruit and vegetable productivity to “ensure sustainable fruit and vegetable supply, especially in low-income countries”.

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