Only a small share of Australians are eating enough fruit and vegetables, with dieticians warning the country could be headed for an obesity crisis. Results from the latest National Health Survey, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Friday, showed 93.9 per cent of adults did not meet the recommended daily intake for both fruit and vegetables.
People were more likely to eat fruit than vegetables, with 44.8 per cent eating enough fruit, as opposed to 8.7 per cent who ate enough vegetables. The survey revealed a divide based on gender. While 12.8 per cent of women met the recommended daily intake of vegetables, the share was 4.4 per cent for men. Similarly, nine per cent of women met both the fruit and vegetable guidelines, compared to 2.9 per cent of men.
The survey drew on responses from around 11,000 households between August 2020 and June 2021.
Dietitians Australian CEO Robert Hunt said in the midst of a fresh food price and supply crisis the government needed to invest in a coordinated approach to nutrition.
In 2020-21, of people aged 18 years and over:
- Over two in five (44.8%) met the fruit recommendation (2 or more serves)
- Almost one in ten (8.7%) met the vegetable recommendation (5 to 6 serves, depending on age and sex)
- 6.1% met both the fruit and vegetable recommendation.
Women aged 18 years and over were more likely to meet any of the recommendations than men:
- 48.3% of women met the fruit recommendation compared to 41.2% of men
- 12.8% of women met the vegetable recommendation compared to 4.4% of men
- 9.0% of women met both recommendations compared to 2.9% of men.