Fruit and vegetable intake

Definition: The proportion of people eating sufficient serves of fruit and vegetables each day to obtain a health benefit.

Calculation of this indicator is based on relevant dietary guidelines published by the NHMRC (NHMRC 2013).

In the NHMRC guidelines, the minimum recommended number of serves of fruit per day is 1 for children aged 2–3, 1½ for children aged 4–8, and 2 for people aged 9 and over. The minimum recommended number of serves of vegetables per day is 2½ for children aged 2–3; 4½ for children aged 4–8; 5 for children aged 9–11, females aged 12 and over and males aged 70 and over; 5½ for males aged 12–18 and 51–70 years; and 6 for males aged 19–50.

Note: NHMRC guidelines define children as aged 2 to 18 and adults as aged 19 and above. ABS data are presented for children aged 2 to 18 as per NHMRC guidelines and adults aged 18 and over as per the standard definition for adulthood. Hence, 18-year-old people are included in two age groups and data should be considered separately for children and adults.

Source: ABS 2015d; Table S1.4.15.

  • In 2014–15, 50% of adults and 68% of children ate sufficient serves of fruit, and 7% of adults and 5% of children ate sufficient serves of vegetables.
  • For adults aged 65–74, 60% had a sufficient fruit intake, and 11% had a sufficient vegetable intake.
  • For children aged 2–3, 97% ate sufficient serves of fruit and 20% ate sufficient serves of vegetables.
  • Overall, 5% of adults had a sufficient intake of both fruit and vegetables. Women were more likely to eat sufficient fruit and vegetables than men (8% compared with 3%).

For more information, see Chapter 4.9 'Diet'.