Half of Britons eat two or fewer portions of vegetables each day, while others count chocolate, cheese and meat towards their recommended daily intake, according to new research.
Around 10% of respondents confessed to eating fewer vegetables than they did as a child, according to a survey by Birds Eye.
The survey showed that men are the worst offenders, consuming on average 2.4 portions of vegetables a day, compared with the 2.7 portions eaten by women.
One in seven said they do not eat the recommended quantity of vegetables because they struggle to find exciting ways to cook them, while a quarter avoid vegetables because they do not know how to cook them at all.
Almost one in four said they avoid buying vegetables due to their shelf life, while 11% of those studied are put off eating their greens because of childhood traumas and bad memories of school dinners.
The Vege-nation survey of 1,000 Britons found 4% believe pasta and cereal make up one of the government’s recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.
Others said they thought Turkish delight, liver and cottage cheese all counted towards the intake.
The study found that people in Northern Ireland are the most veg-friendly, eating 2.9 portions every day. Those in the north west of England are the worst offenders, with 12% admitting they had not eaten a single vegetable in the past month.
Almost half of the Londoners questioned (47%) blamed their long journeys for not allowing time to cook a meal in the evening, with over half (54%) admitting they manage to eat only two or fewer portions of vegetables each day.