Only 2% Of Australians Eat Enough Fruit And Vegies

Only 2% Of Australians Eat Enough Fruit And Vegies

The average Australian’s fruit-and-veg intake falls well below nutritional recommendations, a new Roy Morgan Research poll has found. Of the 14,000 Australians polled, just two per cent eat two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day. A whopping 46 per cent of participants admitted to eating just one piece of fruit or less per day.

Abandoned vegetables picture from Shutterstock

The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research have revealed that a paltry two per cent of the Australian population eat the minimum daily fruit-and-veg intake recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The majority of the population (60 per cent) eat just two or less serves of vegetables per day on average. Only 30 per cent of Aussies eat their recommended two serves of fruit each day.

The below table illustrates how many serves of fruit and vegetables Australians eat each day:

As you’d expect, the figures change significantly when broken into separate ages, genders and socio-economic status. Women were found to eat more fruit and vegetables than men, with Australians aged 50 and over the most likely to eat three or more serves of veges each day. People from low socio-economic backgrounds were found to eat fewer daily serves of vegetables than the average Australian and were more than twice as likely to eat no vegetables at all.

Interestingly, around on fifth of Australians actually eat too much fruit; with 18 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women eating more than two serves per day. In contrast to vegetables, younger Australians (14-to-17 year-olds) are more likely to eat two or more serves of fruit per day compared to the over 50s set.

“The NMHRC’s message that we should all be eating at least five serves of vegetables and two of fruit every day has been widely promoted, but very few of us manage to do so. The amount of vegetables most of us eat, in particular, is well below the recommendation,” Roy Morgan Research cautioned in a statement.

“Overall, young married parents are among the least likely segments of the population to get their ‘two-and-five’, which is cause for concern, as it suggests that their kids are probably missing out too. Young singles also rate poorly for eating the recommended daily serves of fruit and veg, as of course do people from the FG socioeconomic quintile.”

According to the Roy Morgan report, the nation’s poor vegetable intake could be linked to the effort it takes to prepare: unlike fruit, you can’t generally grab a vegetable from the fridge and start tucking in.

“Compared with the ease of eating two pieces of fruit a day, eating five serves of vegetables isn’t always so straightforward. Coming up with and preparing creative, tasty vege-centric meals takes time.”

[Via Roy Morgan Research]


  • Vegies have the other problem of not being meat. Or sugar, or fat. Which is like… 90% of my diet.

    Just pop a vitamin pill and make sure you find a source of fibre. SORTED!

  • A “serve” of cooked veggies is about half a cup, and a “serve” of fruit is about a medium sized apple.

    I don’t get my two-and-five because I don’t eat that much *food* in a day.

    • I’d also wonder what they’re defining as a fruit and what is a vegetable. Many things we consider to be vegetables (tomatoes, for example, or pumpkin) are fruit. I wonder how pedantic they’re being.

    • You’re either vastly underestimating how much food you eat, or overestimating how big 2.5 cups of veg + 2 apples is.

      I know that veggies are high fibre, which is what makes them filling, but to illustrate the point, 2.5 cups of mixed veggies is somewhere between 300-500 calories, or less than 1/4 of most people’s recommended daily calorie intake. You’d still have the remaining calories for proteins and other carbs/fats.

      I certainly don’t manage the 5/2 either, but you definitely eat more than that.

  • My darling wife took the kids away for a weekend a few weeks back. When she got back she grilled me about what I had eaten while she was away, so I gave her the run down. Much to her disgust there was no salad in my diet, so I just pulled up the latest version of the health food pyramid and you know what, there is no salad on the health food pyramid YAY!

    • If your health food pyramid is still telling you to only eat low-fat foods then you know it isn’t the latest one. If it tells you to keep salt consumption down, then its the old one. And if it really isn’t telling you to eat salads and vegetables then you are in big trouble.

      Salad, like vegetables, is good for you – but then you know that, don’t you?

      • Yes captain kill joy it has veggies but find only a rare few list leafy greens I guess that could mean salad or more likely kale to someone like you.

  • I eat veges every damn day. With frozen veges there’s no excuse. Pour em into boiling water and they’re done in 2 mins. So well over the 5 serves.

    Fruit however.. just not a fruit person. Maybe 3 bananas a week? An apple if I see it on the counter? Just not my bag.

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