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]