Over 90 per cent of the Australian population is not meeting the recommended target of two serves of fruit per day, according to research undertaken by the CSIRO and commissioned by Fruit Juice Australia.
The revelation comes after an independent and rigorous re-analysis of data collected in the most recent Australian Health Survey, including the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey.
The research shows that when fruit juice is counted towards fruit intake, the percentage of Australians who meet their recommended fruit intake doubles from 10 per cent to 24 per cent.
“We recommend eating more fresh fruit, as it comes with added benefits like fibre, but a small glass of Australian unsweetened juice is an effective way of helping Australians reach their recommended fruit intake,” Citrus Australia chief executive Judith Damiani said. “Citrus is a natural nutrient powerhouse that has contributed to the Australian diet for generations – including important nutrients such as vitamin C, folate and potassium.”
Contrary to recent media reports, Damiani said fruit juice, with no added sugar, contributes only a small amount of energy and sugar to the average Australian diet. She hoped the latest research would highlight that fruit juice can be enjoyed with confidence as part of a balanced diet.
“Recent alarmism around sugar, and calls to remove juice from the Australian diet have no basis in science and defy commonsense,” Damiani explained. “Health fads may come and go, but they should not be allowed to threaten vital Australian agricultural sectors such as fruit growing. Citrus Australia is proud to stand up for the inherent natural goodness of citrus fruit and juice, and the broader benefits our industry delivers.”