The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the results of the 2017-18 National Health Survey (NHS) and found that only 3.8 percent of men and 10.2 percent of women are eating enough vegetables every day. It also revealed that only the toddlers are the most likely to meet their daily vegetable goal.
Despite the toddlers are eating more vegetables than Australian adults, around 80% of them are not getting enough greens.
The following is the full breakdown of the findings:
- Boys: 4.5% eat enough veggies. 35.6% eat one serve, 15.3% eat three serves.
- Girls: 6.3% eat enough veggies. 33.3% eat one serve, 17.7% eat three serves.
- Men: 3.8% eat enough veggies. 30% eat one serve, 17.3% eat three serves.
- Women: 10.2% eat enough veggies. 22.4% eat one serve, 22.1% eat three serves.
Australian Dietary Guidelines Vegetables
The recommended daily intake of vegetables is between 4.5 and 6 serves, but we are also falling short there too.
Only 7.1 percent of the boys and 7.7 percent of the girls eat four serves of vegetables per day, and only 3.9 percent and 4.2 percent respectively just eat more than four serves.
Setting a better example
As adults, we are setting a bad example to the children. Just 10.1 percent adult men and 13.5 percent adult women eat four serves of veggies, while just 5.5 percent and 6.7 percent respectively eat more than four serves.
According to Nutrition Australia, an organisation that aims to promote the health and well-being of all Australians, 96% do not eat enough vegetables each day – with the average person eating less than half the recommended daily intake.
In addition, a third of our daily calorie intake came from less healthy choices such as biscuits, cakes, soft drinks, and alcohol.
So what can be done?
Lucinda Hancock, accredited nutritionist and chief executive officer (CEO) of Victoria Division at Nutrition Australia, said “Vegetables aren’t just for dinner - they're a versatile ingredient that can go in any dish, any time of day.”
“Whether they’re fresh, frozen or canned, raw, cooked, baked, mashed or sliced, eating more vegetables is one of the simplest things we can all do for better health and wellbeing. Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants which help us to live longer and healthier lives.”