The percentage of the population aged 12 or older who reported consuming fruit and vegetables at least five times a day.† Results are presented by province/territory using data from the 2014 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS).
The 2011 Cancer System Performance Report.
Last updated in 2011, though it is anticipated that this indicator will be updated every two years.
Why measure this?
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables may provide some protection against certain cancers, including those of the stomach, mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus and lung.1 This protective effect is due to the wide variety of nutrients found in fruit and vegetables.2 Additionally, consuming foods that are less energy-dense (including fruit and vegetables) helps to maintain a healthy body weight, which reduces the risk of several cancers.3, 1 The World Health Organization and the World Cancer Research Fund recommend consuming a minimum of 400 g – approximately five servings – of fruit and vegetables per day for the prevention of chronic diseases, including cancer.4-6 Reporting on fruit and vegetable consumption patterns across the country allows for monitoring of progress in encouraging healthy eating and helps to identify gaps and at-risk populations.
What are the key findings?
The percentage of adults reporting consuming fruit and vegetables five or more times per day ranged from 24.0% in Nunavut to 46.0% in Quebec (Figure 1.15).
† This indicator serves as a proxy measure of the percentage of the population consuming the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables daily, as the CCHS measures only the number of times fruit and vegetables are consumed daily (frequency), not the amount consumed (servings).
- Canadian Cancer Society. Vegetables and fruits [Internet]. Toronto (ON): Canadian Cancer Society; 2016 [cited 2016 Feb 22]. Available from: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/what-is-a-risk-factor/diet/vegetables-and-fruit/.
- Cancer Research UK. How healthy eating prevents cancer [Internet]. London (UK): Cancer Research UK; 2015 [updated 2015 Mar 24; cited 2016 Feb 22]. Available from: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/diet-and-cancer/how-healthy-eating-prevents-cancer.
- World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington DC: 2007.
- World Health Organization. Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation. Geneva (CH): World Health Organization; 2003. 149 p.
- World Health Organization. Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases [Internet ]. Geneva (CH): World Health Organization; 2015 [updated 2015 Oct 8; cited 2016 Feb 22]. Available from: http://www.who.int/elena/titles/fruit_vegetables_ncds/en/.
- World Cancer Research Fund. Plant foods [Internet]. London (UK): World Cancer Research Fund; [cited 2016 Mar 21]. Available from: http://www.wcrf.org/int/research-we-fund/cancer-prevention-recommendations/plant-foods.