A new national report has shed light on the poor state of Australians’ diets, stating that less than one in ten adults are eating the recommended daily amount of vegetables and only half of adults are eating enough fruit.

“It is concerning to learn that Australian adults over the age of 12 are ignoring the recommended daily intake of two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables and it just proves that everyone needs a wake-up call when it comes to their diet,” said AUSVEG Senior Communications Officer, Courtney Burger.

AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body for Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

The ‘Australia’s health 2012’ report, published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and launched by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek in Canberra yesterday, is a biennial study that provides an overview of the nation’s health and delves into the dietary habits of the population.

“Australians are privileged by world standards, through having access to an abundance of fresh and healthy produce – and it is perplexing as to why this is not being taken advantage of in boosting the diet and health of adults,” said Miss Burger.

“The correlation between a lack of fresh produce and a rise in obesity is a message that does not seem to be getting through to Australians,” said Miss Burger.

“It is not surprising that accompanying the revelation that we aren’t consuming enough fruit and veg, is the statistic that Australia has one of the highest rates of obesity; with one in four Australian adults and one in 12 children considered obese.”

“There are other lifestyle factors which may play a part in a rise in obesity such as a lack of exercise, but we are now seeing, more than ever, people opting for high-fat convenience foods because they don’t have time to cook a meal or they simply don’t know how.”

“The wide variety and availability of fruit and vegetables in this country is a true credit to the growers of this nation and by eating more fresh Australian-grown produce we also help support the Australian industry.”

“People need to wake up and get out of their old routines of picking up the phone and ordering take-away, instead they need to pick up their cookbooks and take the time to prepare a meal which will not only be a healthier option but most likely cost them less,” said Miss Burger.

To order a copy of the ‘Australia’s health 2012’ report, please visit the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) website: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737422172.

MEDIA CONTACT: Courtney Burger – Senior Communications Officer, AUSVEG Phone: (03) 9822 0388, Mobile: 0439 784 890, Email: courtney.burger@ausveg.com.au