Two out of three Australians failing to eat their veggies, CSIRO Report
A new Fruit, Vegetables and Diet Score Report released by the CSIRO has found two out of three Australian adults are not eating enough vegetables.
One out of two adults are also not eating enough fruit says the report.
The Fruit, Vegetable and Diet Score Report, produced by the CSIRO and commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia, compiled the dietary habits of adults across Australia over an 18-month period. With 145,975 participants nationwide, this survey is the largest of its kind ever conducted in Australia.
Australians not as healthy as they think
The CSIRO said the overwhelming message from the report was most Australians are not as healthy as they think.
“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,” said Professor Noakes, CSIRO Research Director and co-author of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet.
“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,” said John Lloyd, CEO Horticulture Innovation Australia.
Variety could be key in changing diets
One of the key findings in the research is that a focus on variety could be the solution to boosting consumption says the CSIRO.
“One simple way to boost your intake is to eat three different types of vegetables with your main evening meal,” said Professor Noakes.
“Australian growers are adapting to the consumer’s need for convenience by bringing high-quality fresh produce from the farm to the table in ready-to-cook and eat packaging, making it easier for time-poor adults to add more nutritious fruit and vegetables into their diets,” added Lloyd.
Women healthier than men
Women reported slightly better fruit and vegetable consumption with 24 per cent meeting both guidelines, compared with only 15 per cent of men surveyed.
When comparing the figures by occupation, construction workers and those in the science and programming sector recorded the poorest fruit and vegetable eating habits. On the other hand, retirees and health industry workers were more likely to meet the recommended dietary guidelines.
“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 explained.
“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,” said Professor Noakes.