4 out of 5 Aussies not eating enough fruit and vegA new CSIRO study has found that most Aussies aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables.
The landmark report – the largest of its kind ever done in Australia – tracked 145,975 people over 18 months, logging their dietary habits.
Called the ‘Fruit, Vegetable and Diet Score’ report, it found that 51% (one in two!) Australian adults don’t eat the recommended amount of fruit. And 66% (two out of three) adults don’t eat enough veggies.
Women were only slightly better at eating fruits and veg, with almost a quarter meeting dietary recommendations, compared to just 15% of men.
Australians: not as healthy as we think?Professor Noakes, CSIRO Research Director and co-author of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet explained: "Many Aussies believe themselves to be healthy, yet this report shows the majority of those surveyed are not getting all the beneficial nutrients from fruit and vegetables needed for a healthy, balanced diet."
The study was done with support from Horticulture Innovation Australia. Its CEO, John Lloyd echoed Professor Noakes’ sentiments:
"For a country with an abundance of high-quality, locally-grown fruit and vegetables available all year round, it’s disappointing so many Australians are missing out and not enjoying enough variety in their diets."
How to eat more fruits and veggiesClearly, there’s a gap between our healthy intentions and our habits. So how can we make small changes to boost our diet with fresh, whole foods?
CSIRO suggests adding three different types of veggies to your dinner. This is an easy way to boost your intake of essential nutrients and vitamins, without overhauling your lifestyle too drastically.
"Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables we eat is one of the simplest ways Australians can improve their health and wellbeing today as well as combat the growing rates of obesity and lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and a third of all cancers," Professor Noakes said.
"Diets high in fruit and vegetables have been shown to improve psychological and physical markers of wellbeing. In particular, phytochemicals from fruit and vegetables reduce systemic inflammation which can lead to chronic disease.”
For personal dietary advice, chat with a dietician or nutritionist.