Bigger bodies may need more veges

Fruit and vegetables of many kinds

People with bigger bodies may need to up their vege intake, according to a new study.

Auckland University of Technology research found that of 600 study participants, those with a larger body size, based on body mass index and weight, were more likely to have lower levels of carotenoids, a chemical marker of fruit and vegetable intake.

In a press release, the researchers say this means, “in practical terms, a person weighing 100kg, with the same body fat as a person weighing 50kg, would require twice the amount [sic] of carotenoids to achieve the same tissue concentration”.

Study leader AUT emeritus professor of nutrition Elaine Rush recommends dietary guidelines emphasise the number of vegetables and fruit needed in proportion to body size, as well as the diversity of colours and types.

Just under 40 per cent of participants met the current recommendation of 5+ servings of vegetable and fruits a day.

Healthy Food Guide recommends aiming for six to seven-and-a-half vegetable serves each day, for maximum health benefits including reducing the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.

Easy ways to up your vegetable intake include adding them to your breakfast and snacks.

The research was funded by the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation and was undertaken as part of the Bayer Food Focus Project.

More investigation is needed to confirm the findings, but eating more vegetables is something we can all benefit from.

First published: Jan 2020

Article sources and references

Go to homepage*Subsequent months will be $2.75