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Five-a-day 'not healthy enough'

File photo dated of a bowl of fruit on a table. Credit: Chris Young/PA Wire

Five helpings of fruit and vegetables a day may not be enough, new research suggests.

Seven portions every day could have a more protective effect, experts said.

The NHS recommends that every person has five different 80g portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The suggested intake, based on World Health Organisation guidance, can lower the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity, according to NHS Choices.

But a new study suggests that eating seven or more helpings of fruit and veg a day can reduce a person's risk of dying of cancer by 25%.

Eating this many portions can also reduce a person's risk of dying of heart disease by 31%, the authors said.

Report: Chips linked to low birth weights

Eating chips during pregnancy can lead to significant health problems for new born babies, research suggests.

Pregnant mums could be putting their new born at risk by eating chips Credit: Reuters

Consuming a vast quantity of chips, crisps and biscuits during pregnancy can lead to babies having a lower than average birth weight, the study found.

Mothers-to-be who have a high intake of acrylamide - which is found in commonly consumed foods and coffee - are also more likely to have a baby which has a smaller head circumference.

The size of a child's head has been associated with delayed neurodevelopment while lower birth weights have been associated with adverse health effects in early life and as children grow up.

Babies born to mothers with a high dietary intake of acrylamide were found to be up to 132 grams lighter than babies born to mothers who had a low intake, researchers said.

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