According to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), fruits and vegetables have protective effects against non-communicable chronic diseases, due to the presence of nutrients and ‘phytochemicals’ in plant foods. People who regularly eat diets high in fruit and vegetables (and legumes) have substantially lower risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, several major cancers, and possibly hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus (NHMRC, 2003).
The intake of fruit and vegetables required will vary according to body size and activity level, but in general the NHMRC recommends consumption for adults of at least two servings of fruit and five of vegetables each day. The recommended servings are higher for both pregnant and breastfeeding women. For adolescents aged 12–18 years, the recommended average servings are at least three servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables/legumes each day.
49.8% of Tasmanians aged 18 years and over eat one serve of fruit or less each day. This is higher than the Australian average of 47.5% eating one serve of fruit or less each day.
SELECTED RISK FACTORS, Tasmanians aged 18 years and over, 2001
Sources: 2001 National Health Survey; Health Risk Factors, Australia, cat. no. 4812.
|Usual daily intake of fruit|
|Doesn't eat fruit/1 serve or less|
|4 serves or more|