Aussies aren't eating enough fruit and veggies

Are you getting enough fruit and veg?

Australia's largest ever fruit and vegetable survey has found that 4 out of 5 Australian adults are not eating enough fruit and vegetables.

The survey compares the consumption of fruit and vegetables of 145,975 Australian adults against recommendations from the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Key points of the survey include:

Most adults aren't eating enough fruit and vegetables

Australians have easy access to high-quality fruit and vegetables but the majority of adults don't meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines for their age and gender. Only 24% of women and 15% of men are meeting both the fruit and vegetable guidelines.

Variety could be the key to boosting consumption

Fruit and vegetable intake increases with variety. Adults who eat several different types of fruit and vegetables have the highest levels of consumption. A consideration for future population health campaigns is to focus on increasing variety of fruit and vegetables. Increased consumption will likely follow.

3 types of vegetables at dinnertime could be a practical suggestion

A key finding of this report is that adults who always have at least 3 types of vegetables with their evening or main meal are most likely to meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Encouraging "1,2,3 @ tea", i.e. 3 types of vegetables at dinnertime, could be a practical suggestion for increasing intake of vegetables.

People may believe they're eating more than they truly are

This report describes a very large sample of Australian adults, 15 times larger than the Australian Health Survey. Self-reported intake of fruit and vegetables is higher in this sample which suggests that people likely believe they eat better than they actually do. This misconception was highlighted in CSIRO Healthy Diet Score 2016 and is an important consideration for future population health campaigns.

Certain groups need more help than others

Men, younger adults, obese adults and unemployed adults have been identified in this report as the key groups who need extra help increasing their intake of fruit and vegetables, although most adults have room to improve.

Diet Score increases with fruit and vegetable intake

Fruit and vegetable intake is a proxy for good health. This report finds that the CSIRO Healthy Diet Score (which measures overall diet quality on a scale of zero to 100) is positively associated with fruit and vegetable intake. In other words, adults who have the highest levels of fruit and vegetable intake have the best Diet Scores.

Download the report and find out more about fruit and vegie consumption in Australia - and get some practical tips on how to increase your own intake.

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