The review, using data from Google’s Insights for Search, suggests there are almost twice as many searches for “tomatoes” in the UK as there are for “apples”, which is the second most searched for fruit.
And there is plenty of choice for those searching for information about tomatoes online, as Google lists 53.6 million web pages that mention them.
Bananas and peaches are in joint third place, with oranges in fifth.
The picture is similar across English-speaking countries where there is enough search volume to register results, with tomatoes also coming top in the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Apples also rank second in all of these counties except New Zealand, where peaches are second.
WCRF hopes the review of online searches for fruit will help highlight the message of Fruity Friday that eating plenty of a range of fruits and vegetables is important for health and can reduce risk of cancer.
Teresa Nightingale, General Manager for WCRF, said: “I have always thought of apples, oranges and bananas as the most popular fruits, so I was surprised to see them all beaten by the tomato, especially as many people actually think of tomatoes as a vegetable.
“But although we tend to cook tomatoes in our evening meals or in savoury dishes, this doesn’t change the fact that the tomato is a fruit. We are not sure whether people are looking for information about growing tomatoes or finding out about their nutritional content, but they are the winner by some distance.
“It is also clear that a wide range of fruits are being Googled, which supports our Fruity Friday message that as well as eating plenty of fruits and vegetables you should also try to get as wide a variety as possible.
“As well as being good for health generally, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables also probably reduces risk of cancer. This means that their great taste is not the only reason for eating lots of them.
“On Fruity Friday we are promoting the importance of fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet and in schools and companies across the country people are holding events to highlight this message and raise money to help us continue with our cancer prevention work.”
Fruity Friday is an annual fundraising and awareness raising that is held during Cancer Prevention Week. People can find out more about it by visiting www.fruityfriday.org
Notes to editors:
- The data on Google searches is from Googles Insights for Search (http://www.google.com/insights/search/#), which was accessed on May 3, 2011. The plural of each fruit was used.
- The results are not intended to suggest overall consumption levels or popularity.
World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) raises awareness that cancer is largely preventable and helps people make choices to reduce their chances of developing the disease.
This includes research into how cancer risk is related to diet, physical activity, and weight management, and education programmes that highlight the fact that about a third of cancers could be prevented through changes to lifestyle. For more information on the charity’s work, visit www.wcrf-uk.org
The WCRF report, called Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, was launched in November 2007 and is the most comprehensive report ever published on the link between cancer and lifestyle. For more information, visit www.dietandcancerreport.org