Eating the recommended five items of fruit and vegetables a day could save thousands of lives, it has been suggested.
Research conducted by Oxford University predicted that around 33,000 deaths a year could be prevented if people followed the dietary five-a-day guidance.
The scientists discovered this by using a computer model to predict how levels of diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, would vary if people ate more fresh produce.
As things stand, they found that just a third of Brits are consuming the recommended amount.
Professor Peter Scarborough, who led the study at the university, commented: "Meeting dietary recommendations would have a massive effect on the health of the nation.
"According to our model, the biggest impact would be eating more fruit and veg. But this doesn't mean you should just stop at five - the more the better."
He added that other European countries could set an example to the UK because they "easily" manage to meet the guideline targets.
© Adfero Ltd
Private treatment news: 18 December 2010