70% of Portuguese children “do not eat enough fruit”

A new survey has found that seven out of 10 Portuguese children aged two to 12 “do not eat enough fruit”.

The Azores archipelago is where there is the highest fraction of children who should eat more fruit (83.6%), followed by Madeira (79.9%), the Alentejo (77.4%), the Centre and North (both with 74.2%), the Algarve (73.6%) and finally Lisbon and Vale do Tejo (72.4%).

The data was revealed by APCOI, the Portuguese association against child obesity, which conducted the survey using the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation of three daily portions of fruit for children.

In a statement, APCOI warns that insufficient fruit consumption can cause “lower energy and concentration levels, affect learning skills, reduce the body’s defences and make children more vulnerable to obesity and diabetes”.

Since 2011, the association has been promoting an awareness campaign at schools to encourage children to eat fruit. One in four schoolchildren have increased their daily intake of fruit as a result, claims APCOI.