Publication Details

V. M. Flood, D. Hector & L. Story 2003, Report on the consumpton of vegetables and fruit in NSW, NSW Centre for Public Health Nutrition, University of Sydney.


Increasing vegetable and fruit consumption in the New South Wales population is a key public health priority. There is little dispute that high vegetable and fruit consumption confers significant health benefits. Epidemiological evidence indicates that increasing intakes of vegetables and fruit decreases the risk of major chronic diseases including cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, diverticulitis, cataracts, macular degeneration, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. For optimal health benefits, the importance of consuming a variety of vegetables and fruit is stressed. It is also important that there appears to be a dose-response relationship between vegetable and fruit consumption and protection from ill health. Thus, important gains can be made by increasing consumption across all intake levels. It has been estimated, conservatively, that 3% of the total burden of disease in Australia is attributable to a low intake of vegetables and fruit. Expressed economically, the potential savings to the national health care system of increasing average vegetable consumption by only one serve per day is $24.4 million per year for colorectal, breast, lung, and prostate cancer alone.