Do Canadians meet Canada's Food Guide's recommendations for fruits and vegetables?

Black, Jennifer L.; Billette, Jean-Michel
March 2013
Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism;Mar2013, Vol. 38 Issue 3, p234
Academic Journal
National dietary guidelines pertaining to the intake of fruits and vegetables (FV) were recently amended, in both Canada and the United States, to provide specific recommendations about dark green and orange vegetables and juice consumption. However, little is known about the extent to which Canadians meet the updated recommendations for FV. This study fills current gaps by applying the National Cancer Institute's methodology for assessing the distribution of usual intake of foods to examine reported FV intake using 24-h recalls from the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, cycle 2.2, a nationally representative health survey. After identifying plausible respondents, usual intake distributions were estimated after adjustment for respondents' age, sex, body mass index, frequency of FV consumption, sequence effect, weekend-weekday effect, income, and ethnicity. The majority of Canadians did not meet Health Canada's 2007 recommendations for FV intake. Only 26% of the population aged 2 years and older consumed the minimum number of daily servings recommended for their respective age-sex group. Approximately 1 in 5 Canadians consumed at least 1 daily serving of dark green vegetables, and 9% consumed 1 or more daily servings of orange vegetables or their substitutes. Juice was a substantial contributor to FV intake, particularly for children and teens who, on average, consumed 32%-41% of their daily FV servings as juice. These findings provide insight into the quantity and composition of FV intake and adherence to national dietary recommendations in Canada.


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