We don’t eat vegetables in the same way depending on our gender and even our age—a conclusion that challenges preconceived notions.
Men and veggies: a paradox
It’s hard to believe, but true! In France, according to the 2007 INCA 2 study, men eat more vegetables (174.1 grams/day) than women (171 grams/day)! (However, it is important to keep in mind that these numbers are insufficient for both sexes.) How is that possible? Men eat more vegetables used as ingredients (35.7 grams/day compared to 30.9 grams/day), while women eat more as whole foods (140.2 grams/day compared to 138.4 grams/day). Nonetheless, when both kinds of consumption are totaled, men are in the lead!
For other foods, the INCA 2 study results are more expected: women consume more fresh dairy products, fish, fruit, water, non-alcoholic beverages, and sweet products (cookies, pastries and cakes, ice cream, and chocolate) than men. As for men, they eat more meat, charcuterie, potatoes, and dried fruit.
Older people like vegetables best
The older we get, the more we like veggies! Still according to INCA 2, the people who eat the most vegetables are over age 55 and eat 203 grams of vegetables on average per day. Between ages 35 and 54, this figure only reaches 172 grams/day. However, there is no doubt that those who eat the fewest vegetables are young adults: only 133.1 grams/day and less variety too, with a preference for vegetables that are botanically fruits (such as tomatoes) as well as green beans and peas.
Vegetable consumption also varies according to the season: on average, it decreases by 15% and 22% in spring and fall respectively, compared to summer levels.