- Dispatches reveals how the crucial five-a-day message has been hijacked by the food industry and manufacturers use their own five-a-day labels on certain processed foods with high sugar, fat or salt content.One ready-meal bearing a 'one of your five-a-day' logo contained almost 8 grams of salt - more than is recommended for the entire day.And we uncover how the government is failing to curb the problem, leading to increased consumer confusion as to exactly what counts as part of our five-a-day under the original intentions of the scheme.When the campaign was first launched in 2002, the Department of Health specified that fresh produce as well as frozen, tinned, juiced and dried fruit and veg all constituted part of our five-a-day. But these were only guidelines.
It also created an official logo which can only be displayed on foods that don't contain added salt, sugar or fat, but the food industry saw the advantages of promoting its products with a five-a-day message and started to create their own labels with no such restrictions.
Simon Capewell, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, University of Liverpool, says: 'The own brand fruit and veg logos that the different companies have made up are unregulated, they're unrestricted, it's complete open season out there.'
Use of 'half' in this case is ironic because that also happens to be the combined IQ of those who thought up this policy.