Consumers are becoming more health conscious, eating more fruit and vegetables and checking food labels, a study has revealed.

The Food Standards Agency’s sixth UK-wide Consumers Attitudes to Food survey found that the number of consumers aware that they should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day has risen from 43% in 2000 to 67% in 2005.

It also found that 60% of consumers checked food labels for salt and sodium content, up from 42% in 2000.

Data from the survey also found that consumers claim to be eating more fruit, vegetables and salads than a year ago.

It also found that 28% of people claim to never eat ready meals, while 54% say that they prepare a meal from raw ingredients at least once a day.

Gill Fine, director of consumer health and dietary health at the FSA, said: “It’s encouraging that the agency’s survey shows a growing awareness among consumers towards healthier eating.”

She added: The rise in the number of people who say they are eating more fruit and vegetables and checking their food labels shows a real shift in attitudes since the agency first began these surveys in 2000.”