The average Briton was found to consume fewer than three portions of fruit and vegetables a day according to the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey, published by Public Health England and the Food Standards Agency.
The proportion of adults aged 19 to 64 years meeting the 5-A-Day recommendation 16 was 27 per cent, while the average for this age range was four. For those aged 65 years and over, 35 per cent met the target and the average figure was 4.2.
There were "no significant differences" between the most recent study period (2012-14) and the earliest year sof the same study (2008-10) for any age or sex group either in terms of average number of portions consumed or the percentage meeting the recommendation, the report said.
"There is evidence that consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks has reduced in children," it added, while their general sugar intake also fell over the two periods studied. But "mean intakes of NMES [non-milk extrinsic, or 'free', sugars] continued to exceed recommendations for all age groups", it said.