Vegetable and fruit consumption is a protective lifestyle factor that can have a positive impact on Māori health and wellbeing, protecting the individual against many health problems, including heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Māori and especially Māori women are showing signs of improving their nutrition.
Between 2002/03 and 2006/07 the number of Māori who consumed the recommended1 amount of vegetables and fruit each day increased from 34.7 percent to 38.1 percent. This increase of 3.4 percent was nearly three times the increase in the total population consuming the recommended amount of vegetables and fruit (1.2 percent).
As detailed in the following figure Māori women were significantly more likely than Māori men to have an adequate fruit and vegetable intake over the 2002/03 to 2006/07 period.
Graph 2: Adequate fruit and vegetable intake
Source: Ministry of Health (2008). Ministry of Health: 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey. Note: Age-standardised prevalence for total adults.
1It is recommended that adults eat at least three servings of vegetables and at least two servings of fruit each day.