4727.0.55.008 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Consumption of Food Groups from the Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2012-13  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/11/2016  First Issue
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VEGETABLES AND LEGUMES/BEANS

The ADG advice to “enjoy plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/beans” is a long standing message supported by an accumulating body of evidence.1 In addition to being a vital source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, vegetables and legumes/beans can help reduce a person’s risk of developing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. A further and related benefit of a diet rich in vegetables and legumes/beans is to help to maintain healthy body weight when consumed in place of energy-dense foods.1,2


How much is a serve of vegetables?*

A standard serve is about 75 g (100-350 kJ) or:
  • 1/2 cup cooked green or orange vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin)
  • cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils**
  • 1 cup leafy green or raw salad vegetables
  • 1 medium tomato

*With canned varieties, choose those with no added salt.
**Legumes/beans also contribute to serves within the lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans group; see Glossary and Appendix 2 for more information.

Source: National Health and Medical Research Council1



CONSUMPTION OF VEGETABLES AND LEGUMES/BEANS

In 2012-13, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 2 years and over consumed an average 1.8 serves of vegetables and legumes/beans per day. The average number of serves consumed generally increased with age as 2-18 year olds consumed 1.4 serves of vegetables and legumes/beans and adults 19 years and over had 2.1 serves. The increase with age was greatest among males with men aged 19 years and over having an extra 1.0 serves of vegetables and legumes/beans on average compared with boys aged 2-18 years (2.3 and 1.3 serves respectively).

This graph show the mean serves of vegetables and legumes/beans from non-discretionary sources consumed per day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 2-70 years by age group and sex. See Table 1.1
    (a) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons.
    (b) Based on Day 1. See Glossary for definition.
    (c) From non-discretionary sources.
    Source: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, 2012-13.


The average serves of vegetables consumed was less than half the recommended number of usual serves for males and females in all age groups except for men 51-70 years, who consumed 2.8 serves which was around half the recommended serves for that group (5.5 serves).

Vegetables and legumes/beans: Recommended number of serves per day and average serves consumed




Age group (years)

Recommended minimum(a)

Average(b)



Serves

Serves






Males

Females

Males

Females


2-3

2

2

1.2

1.1


4-8

4

4

0.9

0.9


9-11

5

5

1.2

1.7


12-13

5

5

1.5

2.3


14-18

5

5*

1.8

1.8


19-50

6

5*

2.2

1.9


51-70

5

5

2.8

2.0


71+

5

5

..

..


Total(c)

..

..

1.9

1.7




(a) National Health and Medical Research Council, 2013, Australian Dietary Guidelines https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines_130530.pdf
(b) Daily average consumed from non-discretionary sources
(c) Includes persons aged 71 years and over.
.. Not available.
*For pregnant women of all ages, the Guidelines recommend 5 serves of vegetables and legumes/beans. For breastfeeding women up to 18 years the Guidelines recommend 5.5 serves, and for breastfeeding women 19-50 years 7.5 serves are recommended.
Source: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, 2012-13


TYPES OF VEGETABLES

The vegetables and legumes/beans food group may be analysed by broad sub groups to show the types of vegetables contributing to overall consumption. These were starchy vegetables (contributing 28%), green and brassica vegetables (18%), orange vegetables such as carrot and pumpkin (16%) and legumes (3.1%). Other vegetables (such as tomato, cucumber, capsicum, onion and vegetable juice) contributed the largest proportion of vegetable and legumes/beans serves at 35%.

This graph shows proportion of serves of types of vegetables and legumes/beans from non-discretionary sources by age group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 2-70 years. See Table 2.1
    (a) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
    (b) Based on Day 1. See Glossary for definition.
    (c) From non-discretionary sources.
    (d) Includes tomato, capsicum, mushroom, zucchini, squash and other vegetables. For a list of included vegetables in each category see Appendix 2.
    Source: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, 2012-13.


BY REMOTENESS

Overall, the average serves of vegetable and legumes/beans consumed was similar in remote and non-remote areas.


COMPARED WITH NON-INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2 years and over consumed less serves of vegetables and legumes/beans on average than non-Indigenous people (1.8 serves compared with 2.7 serves).

This graph shows the mean serves of vegetables and legumes/beans from non-discretionary sources consumed per day for Australians aged 2-70 years by age group and Indigenous status. See Table 1.1
    (a) Based on Day 1. See Glossary for definition.
    (b) From non-discretionary sources.
    Sources: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, 2012-13 and the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, 2011-12.


Overall, starchy vegetables contributed a higher proportion of serves of vegetables and legumes/beans for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people when compared with non-Indigenous people (28% and 21% respectively).


VEGETABLES AND LEGUMES/BEANS FROM DISCRETIONARY SOURCES

The ‘vegetables’ food group in the ADG excludes all discretionary sources. For this reason, the above analysis also excludes vegetables from discretionary sources. However, if discretionary sources of vegetables were counted in the total consumption of this ADG food group, they would raise intakes by 0.6 serves from 1.8 to 2.4, which would increase the average intake by one-third. Adolescents 14-18 years had the highest intake of discretionary vegetables, consuming 0.9 serves on average.

Discretionary sources make a relatively greater contribution to vegetable intake among children and adolescents 2-18 years than adults aged 19 years and over. Among those aged 2-18 years, discretionary serves added 0.7 serves, raising the overall intake to 2.1 serves.

This graph shows the mean serves consumed per day of vegetables and legumes/beans from discretionary and non-discretionary sources for Australians 2 years and over by age group. See Table 9.1.
    (a) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
    (b) Based on Day 1. See Glossary for definition.
    Source: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, 2012-13.


Of discretionary serves of vegetables consumed, over half (52%) came from potato products such as potato chips and fries (49%), potato gems and hash browns (0.9%) and other deep fried potato dishes or snacks. Another 23% came from potato crisps, and 13% came from savoury sauces or condiments, including 7.3% from tomato sauces. A further 5.2% came from pastries (such as pies, pasties) and 3.2% came from mixed dishes where cereal is a major component, such as pizzas and burgers high in saturated fat.


ENDNOTES

1. National Health and Medical Research Council, 2013, Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: Australian Government. <https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines_130530.pdf >, Last accessed 27/10/2016

2. Legumes/beans also contribute to the lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans food groups. For more information about the food groups refer to Appendix 2.