Health Fact Sheets
Fruit and vegetable consumption, 2016

Release date: September 27, 2017

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 1

In 2016, 30.0% of Canadians aged 12 and older (roughly 8.6 million people) reported that they had consumed fruits and vegetables five or more times per day.Note 2Note 3 Females were more likely than males to report consuming fruits and vegetables five or more times per day (36.9%, 22.9%). The proportion of males aged 12 and older who reported that they had consumed fruits and vegetables five or more times per day declined between 2015 and 2016 (24.8%, 22.9%), while the proportion for females remained stable.Note 4

In 2016, fruit and vegetable consumption among females was lowest among those aged 12 to 17 (30.5%) and highest among those aged 35-49 (40.4%).  Conversely, consumption of fruit and vegetable among males was higher among the 12 to 17 year olds (27.7%) compared to those aged 35 and older (Chart 1).

Chart 1 ??

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 (years) (appearing as row headers), Percent and Confidence Interval, calculated using Lower 95% limit and Upper 95% limit units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Age group (years) Percent Confidence Interval
Lower 95% limit Upper 95% limit
Males
Total (12 and older) 22.9 22.0 23.8
12 to 17 27.7 24.8 30.6
18 to 34 24.4 22.6 26.1
35 to 49 23.5 21.5 25.6
50 to 64 20.3 18.7 21.9
65 and older 21.3 19.6 23.0
Females
Total (12 and older) 36.9 36.0 37.8
12 to 17 30.5 27.7 33.3
18 to 34 36.4 34.5 38.3
35 to 49 40.4 38.3 42.4
50 to 64 36.3 34.4 38.2
65 and older 36.3 34.6 38.0

Comparisons by province indicated that Quebec had the highest proportion of residents who reported eating fruits and vegetables at least five times daily (38.4%). Less than 1 in 5 (18.3%) respondents in Newfoundland and Labrador reported consuming fruits and vegetables 5 times a day.

In 2016, fruit and vegetable consumption habits differed by the highest level of educationNote 5 attained by members of the household. When the highest level of completed education was below post-secondary, 24.1% of Canadians aged 12 and older ate fruits and vegetables five or more times per day. The proportion of people who consumed five or more fruits and vegetables per day was highest where post-secondary graduation was attained by a member of the household (31.7%). Fruit and vegetable consumption also varied by household income.Note 6 The percentage of Canadians aged 12 and older who consumed fruits and vegetables at least five times daily was highest in households that fell within the highest income quintile (33.0%).

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

References

Garriguet, D. 2007. “Canadians” eating habits”. Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 18, no. 2. (accessed January 11, 2017)

Pérez, C.E. 2002. “Fruit and vegetable consumption”. Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 13, no. 3. (accessed January 11, 2017)

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0508.

Notes