Health Fact Sheets
Fruit and vegetable consumption, 2017

Release date: April 30, 2019

Fruit and vegetable consumption provides an important source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.Note 

In 2017, 28.6% of Canadians aged 12 and older (roughly 8.3 million people) reported that they had consumed fruits and vegetables five or more times per day.Note Note Note  Since 2015, the proportion of Canadians reporting that they have consumed fruits and vegetables five or more times per day has been decreasing (31.5% in 2015 and 30.0% in 2016).Note 

Females were more likely than males to report consuming fruits and vegetables five or more times per day (34.7%, 22.3%). The proportion of females aged 12 and older who reported that they had consumed fruits and vegetables five or more times per day declined between 2016 and 2017 (36.9%, 34.7%), while the proportion for males remained stable.

In 2017, consumption of fruit and vegetables among females was lower among 12 to 17 year olds (30.7%) compared to those aged 35 and older (Chart 1). Conversely for males, most age groups were similar in reported fruit and vegetable consumption.

Chart 1 Fruit and vegetable consumption, five or more times per day, by age group and sex, population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 1 
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1. The information is grouped by Age group (appearing as row headers), Percent and Confidence Interval, calculated using Lower 95% and Upper 95% units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Age group Percent Confidence Interval
Lower 95% Upper 95%
Males
Total (12 years and older) 22.3 21.5 23.1
12 to 17 years 24.4 21.8 27.0
18 to 34 years 21.8 20.1 23.5
35 to 49 years 23.3 21.7 24.9
50 to 64 years 20.7 19.0 22.4
65 years and older 23.3 21.7 24.9
Females
Total (12 years and older) 34.7 33.7 35.6
12 to 17 years 30.7 27.7 33.7
18 to 34 years 32.4 30.5 34.3
35 to 49 years 36.7 34.7 38.8
50 to 64 years 34.7 32.8 36.5
65 years and older 36.7 35.1 38.3

Comparisons by province indicated that Quebec had the highest proportion of residents who reported eating fruits and vegetables at least five times daily (34.5%). Less than 1 in 5 (18.3%) respondents in Newfoundland and Labrador reported consuming fruits and vegetables five times a day.

In 2017, Canadians who reported living in food secure households were more likely to report consuming fruit and vegetables five or more times per day (29.5%) than those in moderately or severely food insecure households (21.2%, 19.3%).Note 

Research has shown that increased sedentary time is associated with unhealthy dietary behaviours.Note  The proportion of Canadians reporting they consumed fruits and vegetables five or more times per day decreased as the reported amount of screen timeNote  increased. Canadians aged 12 and over were more likely to report consuming fruit and vegetables five or more times per day when they reported less than four hours of screen time per day (31.6%) than if they reported six hours or more (17.7%).

For analysis of fruit and vegetable consumption with other healthy behaviours see the ‘Healthy Behaviours’ Fact Sheet.

References

Agudo, A. 2005. Measuring intake of fruit and vegetables. Background Paper for the Joint FAO/WHO Workshop on Fruit and Vegetables for Health, 2004, Kobe, Japan. WHO, Electronic Resource. (accessed August 17, 2018).

Garriguet, D. 2007. Canadians’ eating habits. Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 18, no. 2. (accessed July 4, 2018).

Kirkpatrick, S.I. and V. Tarasuk. 2008. Food insecurity is associated with nutrient inadequacies among Canadian adults and adolescents. Journal of Nutrition. 138(3): 604-12. (accessed August 17, 2018).

Pearson, N. and S.J.H. Biddle. 2011. Sedentary behaviour and dietary intake in children, adolescents and adults: A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 41(2), 178 –188. (accessed August 17, 2018).

Pérez, C.E. 2002. Fruit and vegetable consumption. Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 13, no. 3. (accessed July 4, 2018).

Roark, R.A. and V.P. Niederhauser. 2013. Fruit and vegetable intake: issues with definition and measurement. Public Health Nutrition, 16, 2–7. (accessed August 17, 2018).

Slavin, J.L. and B. Lloyd. 2012. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. Advances in Nutrition, 3(4), 506–516. (accessed August 17, 2018).

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from table 13-10-0096-01.

Date modified: