Largest national survey reveals Aussies need more fruit, veg

21st April 2017 8:56 AM
EAT MORE VEGGIES: Healthy Lifestyles Australia dietician Molly Goode encourages Aussies to eat more vegetables in their diets. EAT MORE VEGGIES: Healthy Lifestyles Australia dietician Molly Goode encourages Aussies to eat more vegetables in their diets. Photo Contributed

A SHOCKING four out of five Australians are not eating enough fruit and vegetables, with men having the lowest intake, according to the nation's largest survey.

A recent CSIRO survey conducted on 145,000 adults found a mere 24% of women and 15% of men were eating the recommended daily intake of two fruits and five vegetables.

Research director Professor Manny Noakes said that while the results were disappointing, key findings in the research showed that a focus on variety could be the solution to improving consumption.

"One simple way to boost your intake is to eat three different types of vegetables with your main evening meal,” Professor Noakes said.

Lockyer Valley dietician Molly Goode agreed the results were disappointing, but were not surprising.

"Most clients I see don't eat enough fruit and vegetables, however usually fruit isn't the issue,” she said.

"People need to generally increase their vegetable intake. You're actually not meant to have more than two pieces of fruit a day, because of the natural sugars.”

The report identified men, younger adults, obese and unemployed people were those most in need of more fruit and vegetables, which Ms Goode put down to possible awareness as a factor.

"I think a lot of it is caused by not knowing what's important. Too often I'll see younger people and middle-aged men not eating many veggies because they don't know exactly why they should have a balanced diet,” Ms Good said.

"Without fruit and vegetables your body lacks vital nutrients and vitamins and minerals which can cause serious health risks of anything from diabetes to Alzheimer's disease.”

Ms Goode recommended making more home-made meals and snacks as an easy way to get more fruit and veggies in.