Attitudes of Austrian adults to the consumption of fruits and vegetables.Forum Nutr 2005; (57):91-9FN
Epidemiological studies confirm that high fruit and vegetable intake correlates with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, various kinds of cancer and other disease. Based on these results authorized bodies worldwide recommend to eat more fruits and vegetables, e.g., the 'five a day' campaign.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
Through 24-hour dietary recalls (studies 2000-02) the intake of 2,318 Austrian adults (19-65 years) were examined. 38.5% participants were male and 61.5% female.
Austrian adults consume on average 248 +/- 316 g vegetables per day. The most popular vegetables are leafy, fruit and root vegetables. Pulses are seldom eaten. Women consume (252 +/- 184 g) slightly more vegetables than men (242 +/- 192 g). One fourth (26%) of the investigated subjects eat lower than 100 g vegetables, 21% consume amounts between 100 and 200 g and more than half (53%) eat more than 200g daily. Approximately half of the vegetable intake is consumed fresh and the other cooked, frozen vegetables are not often used by our study subjects. The daily intake of fruit is about 119 +/- 156 g. Men consume significantly lower quantities (107 +/- 159 g) of fruits than women (127 +/- 154 g) (p < 0.001). Half (51%) of the examined adults eat less than 100 g fruit per day, 23% between 100 and 200 g and only 26% more than the recommended 200 g. Most of the fruit is consumed fresh, frozen fruits and fruits in cans are not very popular. The favorite fruits are stone fruits, followed by citrus and berry fruits. Juice of fruits and vegetables was consumed in amounts of 56.7 +/- 151.3 ml/day. The daily intake of fruit and vegetable nectar is about 130.0 +/- 264.9 ml. If the amounts of juice and nectar are added to the average intake of fruit and vegetables, the whole quantity of fruit and vegetable intake is satisfying.
Our survey shows that the investigated Austrian adults are not far away from reaching the minimum goal of 400 g fruit and vegetable intake per day. Nevertheless, 16% consumed less than 200 g vegetables and fruit. To improve health benefits, a higher intake of varied fruit and vegetables should be achieved.