Ninety per cent of survey respondents report consuming less than the
daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables for adults
TORONTO, Feb. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - When it comes to following common
nutrition guidelines, like drinking eight cups of liquid a day or
eating protein at breakfast, many Canadians report following them
regularly. Yet despite an apparent familiarity with dietary rules, most
Canadians seem to miss the mark on one of the most important aspects of
a healthy and balanced diet. A recent survey by the Florida Department
of Citrus (FDOC) and EKOS Research Associates Inc. found that 90 per
cent of Canadian adults fall short of meeting Canada's Food Guide's
recommended servings of seven to 10 fruits and vegetables per day. In
fact, nearly 50 per cent of respondents indicated they only consume
between one and three daily servings of fruits or vegetables, less than
half the recommended amount.
Tellingly, this survey which asked Canadians about their awareness and
adherence to specific dietary best practices, found a large number of
Canadians are vague in their understanding and practice of dietary
recommendations. More than 40 per cent of Canadians believe they should
only be consuming between four to six servings of fruits and vegetables
"This research suggests that Canadians need to be much more diligent
consuming seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day,"
says Gail Rampersaud, registered dietitian. "Good habits go a long way
and without proper intake Canadians risk serving themselves short of
key vitamins and nutrients that contribute to overall health. Meeting
the recommended daily servings can be challenging but there are
practical ways to get there," she says. "For instance, one eight-ounce
glass of 100 per cent Florida orange juice is easy to drink as a snack
or with a meal and equals two servings of fruit."
Rampersaud also recommends the following to help Canadians reach the
daily value of fruits and vegetables:
Every bit counts, so look for ways to add more fruits and vegetables
into your meals throughout the day. This can be as easy as adding fresh
or frozen fruit to a breakfast smoothie, or extra vegetables to an
omelet, pizza, or casserole.
Try pureeing steamed or roasted vegetables and use the puree to make
soups or stews. This is an easy way to incorporate more vegetables as
well as add texture and flavour to dishes.
Whenever fruits and vegetables are on the menu, consider serving
yourself an extra half or full helping to boost your intake. If needed,
account for any calorie differences and reduce the amount of other
foods you eat accordingly.
To help educate Canadians, Rampersaud has also provided insights on the
commonly followed nutrition guidelines revealed by the survey:
Fifty-five per cent of survey respondents report consuming eight cups of
liquid a day, a positive finding as this is important for hydration and overall
Forty-two per cent of survey respondents report eating protein for
breakfast. This helps provide balance and variety at this important meal and some
research suggests that protein has a satiating effect that may help
people feel full for a longer period of time.
Forty-one per cent of respondents believe that dark chocolate is good
for you. While dark chocolate contains cocoa and some studies report that the
flavonols in cocoa may have cardio-protective effects, large amounts
might need to be consumed to reap the benefits. Since chocolate
provides calories and fat, it is best to enjoy a small portion simply
for the taste and enjoyment.
A significant number of respondents also report that they eat small
meals throughout the day (38 per cent) and avoid eating before bedtime
(36 per cent), habits that some may find help them to maintain a healthy weight.
Canadians also revealed a preference for fruit over fruit juice with 34
per cent of respondents saying that they do not think fruit juice is a
healthy option. While whole fruit should be chosen first when trying to meet fruit
intake recommendations, 100 per cent fruit juice is a convenient and
concentrated source of key nutrients. It is important to consume
amounts that are appropriate and fit within daily calorie needs.
The survey was conducted between December 18 and December 23, 2013 using
EKOS' unique online Probit research panel, with a random and national
sample of 1,250 Canadians aged 18 and older. A sample of this size
provides a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out
About the Florida Department of Citrus
The Florida Department of Citrus is an executive agency of Florida
government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the
Florida citrus industry. Its activities are funded by a tax paid by
growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels.
The industry employs nearly 76,000 people, provides an annual economic
impact close to $9 billion to the state and contributes hundreds of
millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida's
schools, roads and health care services. For more information about the
Florida Department of Citrus, please visit http://floridajuice.com/.
The Florida Department of Citrus is an Equal Opportunity Employer and
Agency. The Florida Department of Citrus prohibits discrimination in
all its programs and activities based on race, color, national origin,
gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual
orientation, and marital and family status (Not all prohibited bases
apply to all programs).
About EKOS Research Associates
EKOS Research Associates (EKOS) has been in continuous operation for
more than three decades and provides expert services across a spectrum
of market research - including client satisfaction, market segmentation
and market needs, public opinion research, communications and branding
research and stakeholder consultation and engagement. EKOS has a
wide-ranging expertise in qualitative and quantitative research as well
as ethnographic research, including participant observation, experience
mapping and other forms of in-depth interview. EKOS has advised
organizations and businesses, from the local to the national, as well
as every order of government, on strategic planning and communication.
For more information, please visit www.ekos.com.
SOURCE: Florida Department of Citrus
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