A recent University of Queensland study has found strong associations between happiness and eating fruit and vegetables. The study conducted by Dr Redzo Mujcic, involving more than 12,000 participants.
It is estimated that less than one-quarter of Australian adults are meeting the recommended 2 serves of fruit and 5/6 serves of vegetables. Government from around the world have unsuccessfully attempted to tackle the issue though public health campaigns, such as the “2 + 5” campaign in Australia and the “5-to-10-a-day’” strategy of Canada.
The suggests that eating 8 serves of fruit and veg per day was primarily associated with “improved mental health and psychological distress levels”. But the question sill remains, how much of each individual group (fruit or vegetables) should be consumed?
The study found that those who ate only fruit had improvement of emotional-wellbeing such as mental health and psychological distress. On the other hand, those who ate only vegetables had better general healthy outcomes. There were also differences between the two genders. It was found that females has higher responses life satisfaction and self-assessed health ratings, when compared with male respondents.
Mujcic suggests that the current dietary guidelines do not encourage high enough consumption of fruits and vegetables, implying that eating about 5 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables will produce optimal metal health outcomes.
Many Australian’s are already failing to meet the current guidelines, so is it really necessary to up the recommended level of consumption? Will this merely create an unrealistic goal for most Australians? These are all important factors to consider in the development of future public health policies. More longitudinal research needs to be conduced before any conclusive arguments can be drawn.