Research has found that Australians are over-estimating the healthiness of their diets, with many consumers thinking they’re getting their full daily dose of veggies while they actually fall short by more than a serve every day.
According to the report, produced by market research agency Colmar Brunton, more than a third of consumers believe they “definitely” eat enough vegetables each day – but data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown that fewer than one in ten of us actually eat the 5 or more daily serves of vegetables recommended by the Australian dietary guidelines.
The report also indicates that 34 per cent of consumers believe they eat enough vegetables every day, but the average intake for these respondents is only 3.4 serves daily – significantly fewer than the 5 or more recommended for women and 5-6 or more recommended for men.
“It’s concerning that such a high proportion of consumers think they’re getting enough vegetables in their diets when they’re actually missing out by more than one and a half serves every day,” said Ausveg spokesperson Shaun Lindhe.
A standard serve of vegetables is considered to be 75 grams, which equals roughly half a cup of cooked green or orange vegetables, a full cup of green leafy vegetables, or half a medium-sized potato.
“These findings suggest that many Australians may not be aware of their actual recommended amount of daily servings of vegetables, and are basing their eating habits off an inaccurate understanding of dietary requirements,” said Mr Lindhe.
“Consumers should take a look at their daily vegetable intake, no matter how confident they are, and compare it to the five serves a day recommended by the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Every extra serving of vegetables can make a huge contribution to your health and wellbeing.”
Meanwhile, 40 per cent of respondents say they “sometimes” eat enough vegetables each day, with these consumers averaging 2.6 serves of vegetables per day.
“It’s also worrying to see the low levels of vegetable consumption among other groups – for example, people who believe they definitely don’t eat enough vegetables only eat 1.5 serves per day on average, which is less than a third of the recommended daily intake,” said Mr Lindhe.
Project Harvest is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.