CSIRO report highlights adults not eating enough vegetables

EAT MORE VEGIES: Adults need to eat more vegetables and AUSVEG sees this as an opportunity for Tasmanian growers. Picture: Scott Gelston
EAT MORE VEGIES: Adults need to eat more vegetables and AUSVEG sees this as an opportunity for Tasmanian growers. Picture: Scott Gelston

The report showing that Australian adults are under consuming vegetables also found potential avenues for the industry to help consumers develop healthier diet habits.

Horticulture Innovation Australia commissioned CSIRO to produce the report on adult dietary habits across Australia over 18 months.

The report shows four out of five Australian adults are not eating enough fruit and vegetables.

AUSVEG, the body representing Australian vegetable and potato growers, believes this presents an opportunity for the industry, national communications manager Shaun Lindhe said.

“Australians who report eating a greater variety of vegetables also report eating more vegetables overall, suggesting that increasing consumers’ familiarity with a range of vegetables may be a good way of indirectly increasing overall consumption,” Mr Lindhe said.

“If the industry can broaden consumers’ horizons and help them understand how to prepare and consume a greater range of veggies, this could have flow-on effects as they then begin to include vegetables more in their everyday diets,” he said.

Dinner is a key driver for vegetable consumption, with the report finding that adults who eat at least three types of vegetables with their evening or main meal are most likely to meet recommended daily servings.

Snacking on vegetables could also make a significant difference to overall vegetable consumption.

“There are a range of factors which affect Australians’ consumption of fresh produce, including fundamental points like having easy access to vegetables, when and where they usually eat,” Mr Lindhe said.

“Australian growers are constantly innovating with new products and packaging formats that make it quicker and easier for Australians to add veggies into their everyday diets – both at mealtimes and as snacks.

“As the industry continues to adapt to new trends in consumer behaviour, we’re hopeful that more and more Australians will start taking advantage of the incredible range of fresh, delicious vegetables being grown right around the country,” he said.

The CSIRO Fruit, Vegetables and Diet Score Report shows two out of three (66 per cent) adults are not eating enough vegetables and half (51 per cent) of adults are not eating enough fruit.

Adults should eat 1.5 serves (225g) of fruit and four serves of vegetables (300g) per day.

With 145,975 participants nationwide, this survey was the largest of its kind conducted in Australia.

Complete the CSIRO Healthy Diet Score survey at www.csirodietscore.com