4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/12/2018   
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FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION

A balanced diet, including sufficient fruit and vegetables, reduces a person's risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. The 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a minimum number of serves of fruit and vegetables each day, depending on a person's age and sex, to ensure good nutrition and health[1]. More information about the guidelines is available in the Glossary.


2013 NHMRC AUSTRALIAN DIETARY GUIDELINES

Age group (years)

Recommended serves per day
14-18
19-50
51-70
70 years and over

Fruit
nnnn Males
2
2
2
2
nnnn Females
2
2
2
2
Vegetables
nnnn Males
5.5(a)
6
5.5(a)
5
nnnn Females
5
5
5
5

(a) Rounded up to 6 serves in published data.

In 2017-18, just over half (51.3%) of Australians aged 18 years and over met the guidelines for the recommended daily serves of fruit (2 or more serves), while one in thirteen (7.5%) met the guidelines for serves of vegetables (5-6 or more serves for men depending on age, and 5 or more for women). Only one in twenty (5.4%) adults met both guidelines. These rates have remained fairly consistent over time.

Women were more likely to meet the guidelines than men. In 2017-18, more than half (55.8%) of women met the fruit guidelines, compared with 46.6% of men. For women 10.9% met the vegetable guidelines and 7.7% met both guidelines, compared with 4.1% and 3.0% for men respectively. In general, older people were more likely to meet the guidelines than younger people. Of people aged 65-74 years, 8.3% met both the fruit and vegetable intake guidelines, compared with only 3.6% of 18-24 year olds.

Graph Image for Persons aged 18 years and over - Proportion meeting fruit and vegetable intake recommendations, 2017-18

Source(s): National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18


In 2017-18, adults aged 18 years and over living in Inner Regional and Outer Regional and Remote areas of Australia were more likely to meet vegetable guidelines than those living in Major Cities (9.5% and 8.9% compared with 6.9% respectively). The proportion of adults aged 18 years and over who met the fruit guidelines was similar across areas, with around half meeting recommendations.

Although women were more likely than men to meet the guidelines for the consumption of fruits and vegetables, their average consumption was similar. On average, men aged 18 years and over usually consume 1.7 serves of fruit and 2.3 serves of vegetables each day. Women of the same age usually consume an average of 1.8 serves of fruit and 2.5 serves of vegetables.

While the proportion of adults aged 18 years and over who met the vegetable guidelines was low, around 42.0% usually consume three or more serves of vegetables.

Graph Image for Persons aged 18 years and over - Proportion by usual number of serves of fruit and vegetables, 2017-18

Source(s): National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18


ENDNOTES

1
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2013. Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council. <https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines>; last accessed 27/11/2018