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4364.0.55.003 - Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-2012  
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Contents >> Health risk factors >> Daily intake of fruit and vegetables



DAILY INTAKE OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

A balanced diet, including eating sufficient fruit and vegetables, reduces a person's risk of developing long-term health conditions including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

    Data source and definitions

    The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommends that people consume certain levels of fruit and vegetables daily to ensure good nutrition and health. The cut offs in the table below have been used to allow results to be reported against the 2003 NHMRC guidelines.

    Recommended daily serves of fruit and vegetables by age

    AgeFruitVegetables
    5-7 years12
    8-11 years13
    12-17 years34
    18 years and over25

    Usual daily intake of fruit and vegetables in the Australian Health Survey is based on self-reported data for the number of serves of fruit and vegetables that people usually eat each day.

    A serve of vegetables was defined as half a cup of cooked vegetables, one medium potato or one cup of salad vegetables (approximately 75 grams). Tomatoes were included as a vegetable rather than a fruit, and legumes were excluded.

    A serve of fruit was defined as one medium piece or two small pieces of fresh fruit, one cup of diced fruit, a quarter of a cup of sultanas, or four dried apricot halves (approximately 150 grams of fresh fruit or 50 grams of dried fruit). Fruit juices were not considered to be fruit.

    More detailed information on the consumption of fruit and vegetables based on 2 separate days of dietary recall will be available upon release of results from the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey.

Persons 18 years and over

In 2011-12, 48.5% of Australians aged 18 years and over reported that they usually ate two or more serves of fruit per day (meeting the guidelines), while 8.2% usually ate 5 or more serves of vegetables per day (meeting the guidelines).

Graph Image for Persons aged 18 years and over - Usual daily intake of fruit, 2011-12

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12



Graph Image for Persons aged 18 years and over - Usual daily intake of vegetables, 2011-12

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12


Taking both guidelines into account, only 5.5% of Australian adults had an adequate usual daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Women were more likely to meet both guidelines than men (6.5% and 4.5% respectively).

In general, older Australians were more likely to meet the guidelines than younger adults, with 8.8% of persons aged 85 years and over consuming the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables, compared with 3.4% of persons aged 25-34 years.

Graph Image for Persons aged 18 years and over - Proportion who met recommended fruit and vegetable guidelines(a), 2011-12

Footnote(s): (a) According to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12


Persons 5 to 17 years

In 2011-12, children aged 5-11 years generally ate more fruit than children aged 12-17. Almost seven out of ten (68.6%) children aged 5-11 ate two or more serves of fruit on a usual day, compared with 54.4% of 12-17 year olds. However children aged 12-17 years generally ate more vegetables than children aged 5-11 with 36% of children aged 12-17 consuming three or more serves of vegetables on a usual day compared with only 28% of children aged 5-11.

The usual daily intake of fruit and vegetables followed a similar pattern between boys and girls.

Graph Image for Children aged 5-17 years - Usual daily intake of fruit, 2011-12

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12



Graph Image for Children aged 5-17 years - Usual daily intake of vegetables, 2011-12

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12


For more information see Table 11: Daily intake of fruit and vegetables by age and sex.

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