New Malden is bananas for fruit and veg

Everyone knows it is good to eat your greens but the people of New Malden have really taken the healthy eating message to heart.

The area's residents eat more fruit and vegetables than anywhere else in the country, a survey has found.

The Tesco study found that New Malden's shoppers make on average 18 fruit or vegetable purchases a week, more than twice the national average.

And the town's residents are particularly partial to apples, broccoli, bananas, and tomatoes - which the store says are among the healthiest fruit and vegetables available.

The average number of fruit and vegetable purchases nationally is eight per week, while shoppers in Kingston, Twickenham and Sutton weigh in with nine.

Tesco spokesman Jonathan Church said the rest of the country should be following New Malden's lead.

He said: "Judging by the incredible amount of fruit and veg consumed in the town it's obvious locals have learned health experts' mantra of eating at least five pieces a day to stay healthy.

"They clearly value their health because eating enough fruit and vegetables is vital to staying fit and strong."

New Malden has the highest population of Korean residents in Europe, thought to be about 10,000, and Korean Residents' Society chairman Dr Woo Seung Shin suggested this may explain the figures.

He said: "Korean people eat more vegetables than meat in general. Their favourite dish, called Kimchi is made from Chinese leaves or radish and cucumber and they enjoy a lot of other vegetables and a lot of fruit."

He said a diet of fruit, vegetables and fish rather than meat left Koreans feeling healthier.

Duty manager of Tesco's Beverley Way store in New Malden, David Fidler, said there may be ethnic or demographic information which explained the local popularity of fruit and vegetables.

But he said it may also be explained by the fact the store had one of the highest overall turnovers for a Tesco store in the UK.

The Government recommends everyone eats at least five portions of fruit or vegetables a day to stay healthy.

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