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Aussies not eating enough fruit and veg

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CSIRO has released findings of Australia’s largest ever survey about the intake of fruits and vegetables.

Its report, Fruit, Vegetables and Diet Score, found one in two Australian adults are not eating the recommended intake of fruit, while two out of three adults are not eating enough vegetables.

Produced by CSIRO and commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia, the report compiled the dietary habits of adults across Australia over an 18 month period, involving 145,975 participants nationwide.

It has revealed that most Australians are not as healthy as they think they are.

More people need to eat higher quantities and a greater variety of fruit and vegetables every day to meet the minimum Australian benchmark.

To help meet the benchmark, CSIRO suggests adults eat at least three serves of different vegetables every dinner time.

“Many Aussies believe themselves to be healthy, yet this report shows the majority of those surveyed are not getting all the beneficial nutrients from fruit and vegetables needed for a healthy, balanced diet,” CSIRO Research Director Professor Manny Noakes said.

“Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables we eat is one of the simplest ways Australians can improve their health and wellbeing today as well as combat the growing rates of obesity and lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and a third of all cancers.

“Diets high in fruit and vegetables have been shown to improve psychological and physical markers of wellbeing. In particular, phytochemicals from fruit and vegetables reduce systemic inflammation which can lead to chronic disease.”

One of the key findings in the research is that a focus on variety could be the solution to boosting consumption.

People across Australia, in all occupations and weight ranges, were invited to participate in the online survey between May 2015 and October 2016. CSIRO researchers analysed this data to develop a comprehensive picture of the country’s fruit and vegetable consumption.

Chris Johnson