GETTING YOUR FRUIT AND VEG EACH DAY JUST GOT EASIER
New research shows New Zealanders are missing out on the powerful nutrients provided by canned and frozen fruit and vegetables because they don't understand they count towards the recommended five or more servings a day.
Nutritionally, all fruit and veg can be good for you whether they are frozen, canned or fresh, but many New Zealanders are missing out on the important health benefits of a high fruit and vegetable intake because they don't understand the facts.
Research conducted by Colmar Brunton and released today shows more than half those surveyed don't know that canned fruit and vegetables count and a third don't realise frozen vegetables count. 1
In fact, health experts recommend eating a variety of at least five servings of fruit and vegetables for good health, whether they are canned, frozen, fresh, dried or juiced.
Dietitians agree canned and frozen count
New Zealand Dietetic Association Executive Officer Amanda Wynne says all dietitians advocate fruit and vegetables as a key part of a healthy diet but it's often hard for people to achieve their recommended intake.
"Dietitians know that all fruit and vegetables are important, whether they are fresh, frozen or canned and these all count towards the five or more servings we should eat each day."
Fruit and Veg Each Day initiative
Wattie's commissioned the research as part of its new Wattie's Fruit and Veg Each Day initiative to encourage New Zealanders to eat healthier diets by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
A key part of the campaign is the launch of an innovative new 'count device' to help people count their daily fruit and vegetable intake. The simple clock style symbol will appear on Wattie's canned and frozen fruit and vegetable products. It clearly shows how many serves are contained in the pack, and most importantly, reminds people to eat more fruit and veg each day.
Amanda Wynne says NZDA supports any initiative that aims to increase consumption of a variety of fruit and vegetables.
"People know they need to eat their five or more a day, but often don't do it, so taking advantage of the variety available can make it easier for them."
Easy to understand symbol
Wattie's General Manager of Marketing, Mike Pretty, says getting your five or more servings of fruit and veg each day will now be a lot easier because the new symbol makes it clear that canned and frozen do count and eliminates confusion about what constitutes a serving.
"Fresh fruit and vegetables are still important, but New Zealanders need to understand that canned and frozen also contribute to a healthy diet and are an easy way to achieve the goal of five or more daily servings."
The research shows that half of all consumers who don't currently eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day say they would eat more canned or frozen fruit and vegetables if they were aware of the benefits.
"Our research shows that some of the reasons people may not be eating five a day can be attributed to lack of convenience, preparation time, cost and a perception of poor quality. Canned and frozen fruit and vegetables can address and help overcome these barriers," says Mike Pretty.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health reports too few fruit and vegetables in the diet contributed to 867 deaths in 1999, which could be prevented if we increased our intake of fruit and vegetables.2 That's nearly double the 2001 annual road toll.3
Fruit and vegetables are a good source of powerful antioxidants, which help fight the free radicals known to cause damage in the body. An easy way to expand the range of antioxidants in your system is to consume a wide variety of colourful fruit and vegetables. Canned and frozen, as well as fresh, make it even easier to achieve that goal.