Women are cutting back on their five-a-day in austerity Britain.

Their fruit and veg consumption is now in its fourth consecutive year of decline. Last year, they ate an average of 2.78 portions of fruit and veg a day down from 2.8 portions in 2009 and 2.83 portions in 2007, before the recession hit [Kantar Worldpanel, 52w/e November 2010].

However, consumption has held up or even increased among men and children. Men's consumption has remained stable at 2.51 portions per person per day, while kids are now eating 2.54 portions a day, up from 2.45 a day four years ago.

It was possible women were making "sacrifices" to ensure their kids and husbands were still eating fruit and veg, said Eddy Coates from Kantar.

As consumer confidence plummeted in the wake of the recession, health had become a less important driver in food and drink consumption, he added.

"Recently we've found that other reasons, such as having treats at home or eating carb-heavy, basic staples, have gained in importance," he said.

Overall, just 13% of Brits manage to get their five-a-day, according to Kantar, although 36% claim they do and 66% say they try to hit the healthy target.