Recent epidemiological studies provide strong support for the hypothesis that the daily consumption of fruits is effective for preventing such diseases as cancer, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. The value of fruit is considered to be equivalent to that of vegetables by health-conscious American and European consumers concerned with preventing such diseases. Health authorities in the USA recommend a diet of five servings of fruit and vegetables each day. However, in Japan, fruit is given less attention than vegetables by the average consumer concerned with nutrition and disease prevention. The consumption of fruit in Japan has recently decreased or remained at the same level. It is possible that this may be due to a general mistaken connection between fruit consumption and the risks of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and obesity. Youthful consumers are especially susceptible to this misunderstanding, and their consumption of fruit has recently been decreasing annually. Fruit is a significant source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Furthermore, fruit contains numerous bioactive substances, such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which play an important role in protecting from oxidative damage. Recent epidemiological studies about the relationship of fruit consumption and chronic diseases are reviewed.