4364.0.55.007 - Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12  
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The Fruit products and dishes food group includes fresh, dried and preserved fruit as well as mixed dishes where fruit is the major component such as apple crumble.

While fruit was consumed by six out of ten people overall in the day before interview, the proportion of consumers varied considerably across age groups and by sex. Teenage and young adult males were the least likely to eat fruit with 45% of 14-18 year olds and 39% of 19-30 year olds reporting any fruit consumption the previous day, while children aged 2-3 and 4-8 years had the highest rate of fruit consumption with 84% and 80% respectively. Females were more likely to consume fruit beyond the 4-8 years group, contributing to the overall higher rate of fruit consumption among females (65%) than males (55%) see Table 4.1.

Graph Image for Persons aged 2 years and over - Fruit consumption(a), 2011-12

Footnote(s): (a) On the day prior to interview.

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Food and Nutrients, 2011-12

While the proportion of fruit consumers was higher among females, the difference in the average amount consumed was not statistically significantly different (145 grams for males and 147 grams among females) indicating relatively higher consumption among the males who did consume see Table 5.1. The median amount of fruit consumed by male consumers was 202 grams, while for females it was 176 grams see Table 6.1.

Apples were the most commonly consumed fruit type with 23% of people consuming apple on the day before interview. Bananas were the second most popular (18% of people consuming), followed by mandarins (7.8%), oranges (6.8%) berry fruit (6.1%) and peaches and nectarines (4.7%) see Table 4.3.

'Usual' serves of fruit

In addition to collecting information about the foods actually consumed on the previous day, the AHS also asked respondents the usual number of serves of fruit consumed in a day (where a serve is equivalent to one medium piece or two small pieces of fruit or one cup of diced fruit pieces or one quarter of a cup of sultanas or four dried apricot halves). The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend one serve of fruit for 2-3 year olds, one-and-a-half serves for 4-8 year olds1,, and two serves for everyone aged 9 years and over. Overall, just over half (54%) of Australians consumed the recommended serves of fruit with females (58%) more likely than males (50%) to meet the recommendation.

    Recommended usual intake of fruit

    The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a minimum number of serves of fruit each day, depending on age and sex, to ensure good nutrition and health. The table below outlines the recommended number of serves for children, adolescents and adults. Although the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines specify that fruit should mostly be eaten fresh and raw, other forms of fruit can count towards the daily serves occasionally. A serve is approximately 150 grams of fresh fruit, 125 ml of fruit juice (no added sugar) or 30 grams of dried fruit.*


    AgeFruit (serves)

    2-3 years1
    4-8 years1.5
    9-11 years2
    12-13 years2
    14-18 years2
    19-50 years2
    51-70 years2
    70+ years2

    *Note, while the NHMRC 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines allow fruit juice to be used occasionally as one of the daily serves of fruit, the AHS only collected usual serves of fruit (excluding juice).

The age-sex pattern of the proportion who met the recommended number of serves reflects the same pattern of Fruit products and dishes consumption. This suggests that unlike vegetable consumption, many of the people who ate fruit reported eating a usual number of serves that met the recommendation.

Graph Image for Persons aged 2 years and over - Met recommended usual daily intake of fruit consumption(a)(b), 2011-12

Footnote(s): (a) Based on Usual serves of fruit from Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12. (b) According to the NHMRC Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2013. (c) See Endnote 2.

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


1. NHMRC 2013, Australian Dietary Guidelines, Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council,<https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines_130530.pdf>, Last accessed 30/04/2013. Back
2. Although the AHS collected whole serves which does not allow strict comparability for the 4-8 year olds, rounding the recommendation down to the one serve provides an indication of the proportion who would meet the recommendation. Back