News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Kiwis Amongst the Highest Consumers of Fruit and Vegetables

New Research Proves Kiwis Amongst the Highest Consumers of Fruit and Vegetables Globally

Auckland, Thursday 17th August – Research released today by the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust puts Kiwis on the global map when it comes to awareness of the health benefits and consumption of fruit and vegetables.

Awareness of the 5+ A Day message, which encourages all Kiwis to eat five or more servings of colourful, fresh fruit and vegetables every day, remains high with cut through to 87 per cent of all New Zealanders - equating to more than 4 million people.

“Compared to global statistics on fruit and vegetable consumption we rate among the highest in the world,” says Paula Dudley, General Manager of 5+ A Day.

According to recent European Union statistics, less than 15 per cent of the total population aged over 15 consumed at least five servings a day, while one in three did not eat any fruit and vegetables every day. And the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study of more than 140,000 participants from 18 countries globally, found that mean fruit and vegetable intake was 3.76 servings per day. It concluded that the consumption of fruit and vegetables was low worldwide.

The latest 5+ A Day research, completed in June this year by Nielsen, found that 37 per cent of those surveyed consumed five or more servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. Meanwhile, 59 per cent of New Zealanders reported eating at least four different types of fresh fruit and vegetables daily. The research involved 700 people aged 15-plus in key regions across New Zealand. And Dudley says the Ministry of Health’s regular surveying of a much larger sample size (of 17,000 adults, including parents of 4,000 children) suggests consumption of 5+ A Day is around 40 percent.

“Now it is time for some stretch goals – we need to keep awareness top of mind to move consumption even higher to 45 percent. This isn’t just a numbers game - there are huge health benefits for us all in doing so”, says Dudley.

The latest consumer data also indicated the positive impact of social media in spreading the 5+ A Day message.

“We are already very active in this space, and we are also investing in our social strategy to expand our influence with key health persuaders,” says Dudley.

High profile nutritionists and recipe book authors Julia and Libby Matthews are business-savvy sisters who run a healthy eating website and Facebook page with over 66,000 fans, and are 5+ A Day ambassadors. Julia Matthews says interest in food-related health on social media is huge.

“People are looking for inspiration to lead healthier lives and are turning to social media for information, recipes and evidence. We are thrilled to be working alongside 5+ A Day to help spread the good word,” says Matthews.

Dudley says they encourage people to think in terms of a serving being about a handful - roughly the equivalent of a banana, a pear or an apple, or a handful of salad greens. “Everyone uses their own hand, so a kid’s serving is a lot smaller than an adult’s.”

“Fresh is best; we let people know whenever possible to eat food that is in season for the best value and taste. And all fresh fruit and vegetables count towards your 5 + A Day,” she says.

People who consume extra fresh fruit and vegetables have also reported significant improvements to their psychological wellbeing and less stress, with boosts in vitality and motivation within a couple of weeks, said Dudley, citing the University of Otago study released earlier this year.

Fruit and vegetables contain nutrients and antioxidants and have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and to boost the health of blood vessels and the immune system.

Research sources:
1. Consumption of fruits and vegetables in the EU. Eurostat news release 14 Oct 2016

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland