A recent study has shown that almost half of younger generation Australians know little about what constitutes one recommended serving size of fruit or vegetables, as needed each day for a healthy and balanced diet.
“The focus is often placed on promoting a diet containing two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables per day without an explanation of exactly how much needs to be in each single serve and this has left Generation Y confused as to the correct amount of fruit of veg they are meant to be consuming,” said AUSVEG Communications Officer, Luke Raggatt.
The University of Sydney study,
which was published in the Dieticians Association of Australia’s journal Nutrition & Dietetics, surveyed 106 university students aged between 18 and 24 years, found that just 54% of respondents were able to identify the recommended serving sizes of fruit and vegetables.
“Education is the key here, it needs to be conveyed to the younger generations that each serve must be roughly a handful of fruit or veg,” said Mr Raggatt.
Many of the participants in the survey were unable to name correct serving sizes for foods including carrots, lettuce and grapes. Examples of one serving of vegetables include one medium potato, one cup of salad or half a cup of cooked peas.
“There is a real need to ensure that Generation Y better understand the many health benefits of consuming the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Fresh fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and are packed with natural vitamins and minerals – such as Vitamins A and C, iron and fibre – which are extremely beneficial,” said Mr Raggatt.
“This year is the official Australian Year of the Farmer so it’s the perfect time for Gen Y to familiarise themselves with the recommended daily serving of fruit and vegetables, while also supporting Australian growers,” said Mr Raggatt.
“While they certainly know a thing or two about the latest in Blackberry and Apple technology, according to this study, Generation Y Australians have much to learn when it comes to their knowledge of the recommended daily fruit and vegetable consumption.”