In the journal Nutrients, the report "Differences in the Quantity and Types of Foods and Beverages Consumed by Canadians between 2004 and 2015" looked at comparing food consumption levels between 2004 and 2015. The researchers surveyed 50,000 consumers.
The researchers said that in 2015, Canadians reported consuming an average of 4.6 servings of total fruit and vegetables daily, down from 5.2 servings per day in 2004. The shortfall, the researchers said, was explained by fewer servings of vegetables (outside the dark green and orange category), potatoes, and fruit juices.
From the research paper:
In 2004, Canadians aged 2 years and older reported consuming, on average, ~5.2 daily servings of total vegetables and fruit. From 2004 to 2015, the amount of daily servings of total vegetables and fruit decreased significantly, both among all reporters (−0.7 servings/day) and well as in analyses restricted to only plausible reporters (−0.6 servings/day).
In 2004, the largest contributor to total vegetables and fruit were other vegetables (i.e., non-dark green and orange vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, corn), which represented ~33% of total daily servings of vegetables and fruit. In 2015, the largest contributors to total vegetables and fruit were both other vegetables and whole fruit (each representing ~28% of all daily servings of vegetables and fruit).
Among all energy reporters (all ages combined), Canadians reported consuming significantly more average daily servings of dark green and orange vegetables (+0.1 servings/day) but fewer other vegetables (−0.4 servings/day), potatoes (−0.1 servings/day), and fruit juices (−0.2 servings/day).
Statistically significant differences for other vegetables, potatoes, and fruit juices were found in analyses restricted to plausible energy reporters. In both survey years, average intakes of dark green and orange vegetables and other vegetables were highest among adults and lowest among adolescents and children. Average intake of fruit juices was highest among children and adolescents and lowest among older adults in both 2004 and 2015.
The magnitude of the reduction in total vegetables and fruit varied by age group (p-value for the overall interaction <0.001). Adolescents, adults, and older adults reported, on average, significantly fewer daily servings of total vegetables and fruit in 2015 than in 2004, whereas children reported no difference over time. The changes in daily intakes of other vegetables, whole fruit, and fruit juice also varied by age groups (p-values for the overall interactions <0.05).
For example, adolescents, adults and older adults (all energy reporters) reported significantly fewer average daily servings of other vegetables in 2015 compared to 2004, whereas children (all energy reporters) reported no difference over time. Although children (all energy reporters) and adolescents (all energy reporters and only plausible energy reporters) reported, on average, significantly more daily servings of whole fruit in 2015 compared to 2004, no difference was found among adults and older adults.
TK: While the perception (and perhaps the reality) is that Canada’s fruit and vegetable consumption beats the U.S., the Canadian Produce Marketing Association is working to boost fruit and vegetable consumption. In 2017, CPMA called on the federal and provincial/territorial governments to establish policy statements supporting the goal of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption of Canadians by 20% over the next five years. There is plenty of work to raise fruit and vegetable consumption in all of North America.