Australians aren’t eating enough vegetables
Our study involving the VegEze App is now complete
The VegEze App is no longer available for download.
Do you eat the recommended five servings of veggies daily? Unfortunately, many of us don't.
In fact, when our researchers studied the dietary habits of nearly 200,0000 adults as part of the CSIRO Healthy Diet Score research, they found that two out of every three Australian adults were failing to meet the recommended daily vegetable intake as set out in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
That's a scary fact when you consider that a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables may increase your risk of developing chronic health problems like heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, not to mention an unhealthy weight.
A poor diet can be improved: our research also revealed that eating three types of vegetables as part of your evening meal was key to a better diet.
But changing dietary behaviour can be difficult, and here lies the root of the problem.
Introducing VegEze: a smartphone app to track your daily vegetable intake
Working with our partners Digital Wellness and Hort Innovation, our dietitians sought an innovative approach to help people break those entrenched diet habits that see them regularly skipping out on vital vegetables.
The answer was in their very own back pocket: the smartphone.
With behaviour-changing strategies like self-monitoring and social comparison, the VegEze app encourages users to eat three different vegetables at dinner every day for 21 days.
Users can easily track their vegetable intake, aided by daily reminders, rewards, and resources like vegetable-rich recipes and meal ideas to help stay motivated and on track.
VegEze helps increase vegetable intake and variety
Once we made the VegEze app available to the public, we began to gather data from its users to track its overall effectiveness.
Though we've already garnered the data we need for this study, we still encourage you to download and use the free VegEze app.
Here's what we found of the 1,224 people who used the VegEze app and participated in our research study:
- 59 per cent reported an increase in their vegetable intake (55 per cent of men and 60 per cent of women).
- On average, participants increased their intake by half a serve per day.
- The percentage of people who met the recommended vegetable intake as per the Australian Dietary Guidelines increased from 15.9 per cent to 22.6 per cent.
- Participants who used the app most frequently reported the greatest increases in vegetable intake.