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Australians not buying enough fruit or vegetables

Australians don't buy enough fruit or vegetables but buy too much food that is high in salt, according to new food consumption data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS director of health, Caitlin Szigetvari, said: "The apparent daily consumption of fruit was below the recommended average two serves per day, at 1.5 serves per person. In comparison, vegetables were well below the recommended average five serves per day, at just 2.3 serves.

"The average daily amount of apparent sodium consumption was 3140 milligrams per person. This is 1.6 times the recommended daily intake of 2000 milligrams per person."

High intakes of sodium can increase blood pressure, which can increase the risk of developing heart and kidney disease. Typically consumed as table salt, sodium is also found naturally in a variety of food products.

The largest contributors of sodium were from table salt, stocks and seasonings (23.1 per cent), followed by regular breads and bread rolls (8.5 per cent), processed meat (8.1 per cent), gravies and savoury sauces (7.5 per cent), and cheese (5.0 per cent).

Ms Szigetvari said: "Other major findings from the data indicate that buying habits reflect seasonal patterns. The average apparent consumption of all foods was higher during the summer (1622 grams) than winter months (1476 grams), with non-alcoholic beverages the highest in the summer months due to a peak in the purchase of soft drinks over the festive season."

Do you feel you eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet?

8 comments

Because most of the fruit and veg sold at the  --supermarkets --  taste dreadful and NOTHING like what they used to -- and are also grown in poisoned soil -- after being sprayed with the likes of   Roundup   and also picked too early so to look good on the shelf --for at least 10 days -- and many are also frozen for months too and have no taste or goodness left in them

When you can have an apple sitting on the bench at home for a month -- and it has not gone bad -- then cut it open and it is STILL white inside   something is NOT right

It's always best to buy fruit and vegetables at a fresh produce store, rather than the supermarket if you can.  Supermarkets store their stuff for months at times.  My local veg man sources all his stock from local growers tto, so we know we are supporting our local farmers.  I realise not everyone has that option though

Doesn't excuse the buying of crap though does it?

I have been going to an Afgani fruit shop lately, some of the fruit looks a little bit old (specks) I think they call it, but the veges are very fresh. I would rather give these people my business and give Coles and Woolworths  the flick. As you say PlanB their fruit and veges are tasteless. 

Good on you HOLA -- we had 2 fruit shops here and Coles and woolies saw that they were soon closed up -- same as the Delis we had GONE

PlanB - I don't know where you live but do you have Trims Fruitmarket in your area.? We have them here and their Fruit and Veges are great also, and they have just opened up a Deli near their shop and the cold meats and cheeses are fantastic. They put the bigger shops to shame. I would rather pay for quality than buy inferior products. 

Seems not HOLA -- as I looked them up and they seem to be in the Sydney area -- they sound good though

I envy you being able to eat anything you like especially fruit, some months ago I ate a whole orange and ended up at the GP, had to have an anti histamine injection, so when I ate half a mandurine last week I thought I would be ok!   I now have to give up the Orange family.

Sorry to hear about that Celia. 

Sorry to hear that Celia -- I have that problem with many mediations -- so many cause me so much trouble

I eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.  But the vastly increased prices recently, plus the loss of income for so many people, could be part of the cause.  Some things have more than doubled in price since Covid19.  I have to wonder why?

Higher fruit and veg prices are to a number of factors I think: drought, bushfires, increased buying during coronavirus (more home cooking), difficulties sourcing seasonal workers due to COVID-19, etc etc.

A Woolworths spokesperson said in March: “Due to pressures throughout the horticultural supply chain caused by drought, unseasonal weather and an unprecedented spike in demand, we’re currently seeing an impact on the availability of some fresh fruit and vegetable lines. This has led to higher wholesale costs for some fruit and vegetable lines across the market.”

Not so Patti. This is old news well before the advent of COVID-19. 

Grow your own, whether that be in small pots, on balconies, in small gardens or a community garden, and anywhere else that is possible to do so.

People are saying they are finding it hard to make ends meet. I have noticed a hell of a lot of people eating out in restaurants and shopping centres lately since the lock down has relaxed. I always pop in to my favourite cafe for a Coffee and the table next to mine had Mum, Dad and two small children all having breakfast. Well the youngest one about 4 had a whole plate of Scrambled Eggs on Toast, the Other had Bacon and Eggs and Mum and Dad the same, plus drinks. The two little ones never finished their meals and half the drinks. It makes me wonder why the parents couldn't have bought one plate for the kids to share? The whole meal must have cost at least $50.00 . Obviously these people don't seem to have money problems. 

What is the definition of 'a serve', can we have it in grams or volume. 'A serve' is about as useful as a 'bunch' or 'a head of cauli' or some other undefined measure. How would I know if I an having a 'serve', I do not know how much it is. Can someone enlighten me. It is like saying 'a piece of fruit', is that referring to a grape or a watermelon. 

I try not to get too hung up on "serves" but since you ask for a definition as such Eddy...an apple, or a banana or a pear...any one piece of fruit can be a serve. If you make a fruit salad and fill up your coffee cup, that's a serve too.

Vegies can mean a mix of any of the vegies you like filling a small cereal bowl. 

That's my opinion only.

Eddy; Meat, fish, chicken the size of your palm is one serve, 1 cup of salad greens is 1 serve, 1/2 cup cooked veg is one serve, a tennis ball size mount of rice or pasta is one serve, fat the size of the tip of your thumb (from the knuckle to the tip of the thumb) is a single serve.....

There are plenty of infographics on line too that illustrate what a single serve of anything is.

8 comments