The goal is to reduce the risk of cancer and cardio-vascular disease, by encouraging Canadians to consume at least five servings of vegetables and fruit a day as part of a healthy diet (as described in Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating), and as part of a healthy lifestyle. The aim of the campaign is not only to create awareness, but also to change people's eating habits, within a healthy, active lifestyle.
- Cancer and cardiovascular disease account for over 130,000 deaths in Canada every year.
- Cost-Benefit: The cost for cardiovascular diseases and cancer totaled is over $32 billion a year - Health Canada's Economic Burden of Illness in Canada, 1998. Reducing the rates of these diseases would save billions of dollars to the health care system.
- The report also states the need for: "research, health promotion and disease prevention focused on illnesses with the greatest 'health burden."
- The American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, brought together 15 of the world's leading scientists in diet and cancer in order to produce a comprehensive report on diet and cancer prevention: Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective.
- The study concluded that "…consumption of five servings or more of a variety of vegetables and fruit could, by itself, decrease overall cancer incidence by at least 20%."
- Thousands of other studies have concluded that plant foods can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Canadians continue to be extremely interested in nutrition but Interest is not being translated into healthy eating:
- only 24% of Canadians eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day; (AC Neilsen, 2006)
- 52% of Canadians say they know a great deal about the amount of fruits and vegetables they should eat on a daily basis. (source, Consumer Perspectives on Healthy Eating, Summary of Quantitative Research October 2003)