Ministry of Health Statistics
In December 2020, The Ministry of Health updated its Eating and Activity Guidelines.
The new recommendations for serving sizes for adults are shown in the image below. Vegetables have increased to at least 5 servings, and starchy vegetables have decreased.
Click here to read the New serving size advice. The advice for children and young people (1-18yrs) is on page 8 of this pdf.
A standard serving of vegetables is about 75 g (100–350 kJ), which is about the same as:
- ½ cup cooked vegetables (eg, pūhā, watercress, silverbeet, kamokamo (squash), carrot, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage or taro leaves)
- ½ cup canned vegetables (eg, beetroot, tomato, sweet corn)
- 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
- ½ medium potato or or similar sized piece of kūmara, taewa (Māori potato), yam (Pacific or NZ), taro, cassava, or green banana (technically a fruit)
- 1 medium tomato.
In the 2016/17 survey, about 6 in 10 adults (62%) ate at least three servings of vegetables each day, down from 64% in 2006/07.
Women were more likely to eat at least three servings of vegetables per day than men (66% and 57% respectively). However, the percentage of women eating at least three servings of vegetables each day in 2016/17 (66%) is lower than in 2006/07 (70%).
Older adults were more likely to eat three servings of vegetables each day than younger adults. Only 50% of those aged 15–24 years ate at least three servings of vegetables per day, compared with 73% of those aged 65–74 years.
Ministry of Health (2016). Annual update of key results 2016/17: New Zealand Health Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health retrieved from https://minhealthnz.shinyapps.io/nz-health-survey-2016-17-annual-data-explorer/_w_f333adbe/#!/home
Vegetable intake by young people
|Food and Nutrition
Guidelines for healthy
children and young people
| Health Survey
|Health Survey 2016/17|
|Boys 2-14 years old||Eating 3 or more vegetables per day||52.3%||51.2%|
|Boys 2-14 years old||Eating 2 or more fruit per day||73.4%||70.6%|
|Girls 2-14 years old||Eating 3 or more vegetables per day||48.7%||51.6%|
|Girls 2-14 years old||Eating 2 or more fruit per day||73.9%||74.4%|
|Young people 5-24 years old||Eating 3 or more vegetables per day||40%|
|Young people 5-24 years old||Eating 2 or more fruit per day||69%|
|Males 15-18 years old||Eating 3 or more vegetables per day||51%|
|Males 15-18 years old||Eating 2 or more fruit per day||61%|
|Females 15-18 years old||Eating 3 or more vegetables per day||62%|
|Females 15-18 years old
||Eating 2 or more fruit per day||65%|
Young men were the least likely to eat vegetables, with only half the men aged 15-18 years consuming the recommended intake.
Vegetable intake by ethnic group
After adjusting for age, Pacific and Asian men and women were less likely to eat the recommended 3 servings a day of vegetables compared to men and women in the total population.
General vegetable intake
Statistics from New Zealand Ministry of Health nutrition surveys over the past 20 years
|Per day||LINZ Study
NZ People 1999
|Portrait of Health
|NZ Health Survey
|NZ Health Survey 2016/17|
|Males||Eating 3 or more vegetables||57%||62%||56%||59.3%||58.8%||57.4%|
|Males||Eating 2 or more fruit||27%||34%||50%||54.6%||49.0%||47.7%|
|Females||Eating 3 or more vegetables||58%||73%||69%||72.2%||66%||65.8%|
|Females||Eating 2 or more fruit||38%||56%||68%||65.8%||62.3%||59.7%|
Note: These are based on the standard serving sizes.