Fruit and Vegetables
On average, Australians do not eat enough fruit and vegetables.
The 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, for example, found that:
only 61 per cent of 4 to 8 year olds consume adequate fruit, falling to 1 per cent of 14 to 16 years olds; and
just 22 per cent of 4 to 8 year olds and 5 per cent of 14 to 16 year olds meet the recommendations for vegetable intake.
There is strong evidence of a protective effect of certain vegetables, legumes and fruit against the development of a number of lifestyle-related diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cataract and macular degeneration of the eye.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that individuals consume, on average, at least two servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables each day, selected from a wide variety of types and colours.
To help Australians meet this goal, opportunities to increase the fruit and vegetable content of popular manufactured and pre-prepared foods are being explored through the Food and Health Dialogue.