Australians consuming fewer vegetables, fruit and less milk

Australians bought around 3.9 per cent less food in 2022-23 than in the previous year, a drop of 63 grams or 337kJ a day, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

People consumed less of all the major food groups. Vegetables had the largest drop of 14 grams per person per day. This was followed by Fruit (down 12 grams), Milk products (down 11 grams), and Non-alcoholic beverages (down 9 grams).

Paul Atyeo, ABS health statistics spokesperson, said: “Each person had 186 grams of vegetables a day in 2022-23, down from 200 grams a day in 2021-22.

“We also went from eating 150 grams of fruit to 138 grams a day during 2022-23, while milk products fell from 278 to 267 to grams.”

Bucking the trend was bottled water, up 1.6 per cent from the previous year, along with energy and sports drinks (up 3.3 per cent), and chicken dishes like nuggets (up 2.6 per cent).

“Many of the foods that dropped during 2022-23 are part of longer-term trends. We’re consuming between 5 and 8 per cent less cow’s milk, bread and fruit juice per person compared to 2018-19,” Mr Atyeo said.

On the other hand, while some foods dropped in consumption in 2022-23, Australians are still having more of certain foods than five years ago. These include potato chips (up 16 per cent), chocolate (up 10 per cent), and cereals and convenience meals (up 9 per cent).

People are continuing to have fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, falling from a peak of 145 mL in 2020-21 to 134 mL per person per day in 2022-23.

/ABS Public Release. View in full here.