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Five-a-Day: The Big Con? (Channel 5 Thursday 21 September 2023)

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Channel 5

Five-a-Day: The Big Con? airs Thursday 21 September 2023 on Channel 5.

What is this episode about

‘5 a Day’ was promoted by the government twenty years ago as the solution to the national obesity crisis and the salvation of our children. It seemed so straightforward: just eat your fruits and vegetables every day and you’ll be healthy, help the NHS, and live longer. More than £20 million was spent on the campaign, but only 30% of adults and 8% of children actually participate on a consistent basis. Is it true that Five A Day is a hoax?

The campaign was doomed from the start, as doctors, experts, and ex-government officials are now coming forward to reveal. Despite the millions of dollars spent, the campaign was taken over by food corporations, who used technicalities to confuse the public. To sum up, no one could agree on what constituted a fruit and what constituted a vegetable.

Manufacturers capitalised on this by claiming their goods count towards your daily recommended intake of five servings of fruits and vegetables when, in fact, they were loaded with unhealthy amounts of salt, fat, and sugar. Victoria Taylor, a registered dietitian, warns that consumers must exercise caution, as only the official government logo can be relied upon.

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The high cost of fresh produce is another reason why few people manage to meet the recommended daily intake of five servings. Due to Brexit, customers are on the hook for the rotting fruit that has been held up at the borders. Farmers in the United Kingdom are removing apple trees and allowing raspberries to go to seed because of the low prices set by supermarkets. A punnet of strawberries grown in Kent can sell for as little as £1.89 at Aldi and as much as £2.50 at Waitrose, despite coming from the same plant. This leads to less British produce being sold and prices going up.

In addition, fresh produce is in high demand at food banks. Henry Dimbleby, a former government food advisor, says that hunger and poverty are linked, and that the world produces enough food to feed everyone, provided they have the means to do so.

When can we see the episode

Five-a-Day: The Big Con? airs Thursday 21 September 2023 at 8:00pm on Channel 5

Featured Image Credit: Channel 5

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Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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