Fruit and vegetable consumption statistics

In 2016, three in five (60.7%) of Australians aged 30-65 years perceived what they usually eat to be healthy. Almost one third (32.0%) found their diet to be neither healthy nor unhealthy while just seven per cent found their diet to be unhealthy. (1)

Fruit and vegetable intake

In 2014/15, almost half (49.8%) or 8.8 million Australians aged 18 years and over reported that they consumed two or more serves of fruit per day (the recommended daily intake), while 7.0% or 1.2 million met the guideline for daily vegetable intake.

Taking both guidelines into account, only 5.1% of Australian adults had an adequate usual daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Women were more likely to meet both guidelines than men (7.5% and 2.7%, respectively).

Fruit intake by age and gender (2)
  Male Female Total
18–24 39.2% 46.9% 43.1%
25–34 39.2% 51.5% 45.3%
35–44 42.8% 49.6% 46.1%
45–54 41.1% 56.2% 48.5%
55–64 46.4% 59.9% 53.4%
65–74 52.6% 68.5% 60.4%
75–85 56.5% 61.0% 59.2%
85+ 63.8% 63.1% 64.8%
Total 44.0% 55.4% 49.8%
Vegetable intake by age and gender (2)
  Male Female Total
18–24 0.9% 6.7% 3.7%
25–34 3.2% 10.5% 6.8%
35–44 2.7% 8.9% 5.9%
45–54 1.7% 11.1% 6.5%
55–64 4.2 10.4% 7.5%
65–74 6.9% 14.8% 10.9%
75–85 13.6% 9.9% 11.4%
85+ 8.2% 7.7% 6.9%
Total 3.8% 10.2% 7.0%

Fruit and vegetable intake over time

In the past ten years, the proportion of Australians 18 years and over not meeting the recommended daily intake (RDI) for fruit and vegetables has increased significantly.

Inadequate fruit intake over time (2)
  2001 2004/05 2007/08 2012 2014/15
Inadequate fruit intake (total) 47.3% 46.1% 48.7% 51.6% 50.2%
Inadequate fruit intake (males) 52.8% 52.1% 53.9% 56.4% 56.0%
Inadequate fruit intake (females) 42.0% 40.2% 43.6% 46.7% 44.6%
Inadequate vegetable intake over time (2)
  2004/05 2007/08 2012 2014/15
Inadequate vegetable intake (total) 86.1% 91.2% 91.9% 92.9%
Inadequate vegetable intake (males) 87.9% 92.7% 92.9% 96.2%
Inadequate vegetable intake (females) 84.2% 89.9% 90.6% 89.8%

Fruit and vegetable intake by location

In 2014/15, the proportion of Australians 18 years and over meeting the RDI for fruit was highest in Western Australia (54.2%) and lowest in Tasmania (47.1%) and the Northern Territory (47.4%).

In contrast, the proportion of Australians 18 years and over meeting the RDI for vegetables was highest in Tasmania (11.6%) and lowest in ACT (5.0%).

Fruit and vegetable intake by location (2)
  % Meeting fruit RDI % Meeting vegetable RDI
Australian Capital Territory 49.7% 5.0%
New South Wales 49.2% 6.1%
Northern Territory 47.4% 7.3%
Queensland 51.2% 8.0%
South Australia 48.7% 7.3%
Tasmania 47.1% 11.6%
Victoria 48.0% 6.5%
Western Australia 54.4% 8.5%

Socio-demographic status

In 2014/15, Australians aged 18 and over being unemployed and amongst the highest disadvantaged group were slightly more likely not to meet the RDI for fruit and vegetables, compared to their counterparts.

Fruit and vegetable intake by socio-demographic status (2)
    % Inadequate fruit intake % Inadequate  vegetable intake
Country of birth Australia
Born overseas
51.4%
47.6%
92.5% 
93.8%
Main language spoken at home English
Language other than English
50.3%
50.2%
92.7% 
95.1%
Labour force

Employed
Unemployed

52.2%
61.3%
93.6% 
95.2%
Index of disadvantage

Highest disadvantaged
Lowest disadvantaged

53.8%
46.6%
93.4% 
89.3%
Remoteness Major cities
Regional and remote
50.0%
51.2%
93.4% 
89.3%

References

  1. Heart Foundation. HeartWatch Survey 2016
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Health Survey 2014/15.

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