Statistics Canada releases 2015 data on fruit and vegetable consumption among Canadians aged 12 and older.
These results are based on a 2015 Canadian Community Health Survey question on the reported consumption of fruits and vegetables at least five times daily. They therefore do not reflect the actual quantity consumed.
Overall, at the national level, roughly 9 million consumers, or 31.5% of Canadians aged 12 and older, reported having eaten fruits and vegetables five or more times a day.
Fruit and vegetable consumption varies according to gender and age
Females (38%) were more likely than males (24.8%) to report consuming fruits and vegetables five or more times per day. Consumption among girls aged 12 to 17 (32.3 %) is lower than among older females (about 38% in the other age groups).
Among males, the opposite is true. In 2015, male adolescents aged 12 to 17 (30.3%) reported higher fruit and vegetable consumption, compared to older males (about 24% in the other age groups) who reported having eaten five fruits and vegetables per day.
Consumption differences by province
The proportion of residents who reported eating fruits and vegetables at least five times daily was higher than the national Canadian average in Quebec (38.8%). Consumption reported in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan is close to the Canadian average. However, proportions in the other provinces were lower than the national average of 31.5%:
- Newfoundland and Labrador (22.5%)
- Prince Edward Island (27.2%)
- Nova Scotia (25.3%)
- Ontario (28.7%)
- British Columbia (29.9%)
Influence of education and income levels
In households presenting a higher level of education (post-secondary degree), more than one-third of Canadians aged 12 years and older (33.4%), say they consume fruits and vegetables five times or more per day. When the highest household level of schooling is below post-secondary, less than one-fourth (24.3%) of Canadians reach that daily frequency of five fruits and vegetables.
Fruit and vegetable consumption also fluctuates according to income. Canadians with the lowest income are less likely to report eating fruits and vegetables at least five times per day (27.4%).
Such data highlights the relevance of pursuing targeted awareness-raising activities by socio-demographic characteristics to encourage Canadians to develop the pleasures of enjoying vegetables and fruits daily.