How eating vegies could save Australia

THE health system could save $100 million a year if Australians ate 10% more vegetables a day, a new report says.

The study released Thursday from Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia, said if Australians ate more vegies, all levels of government would save $100 million on health a year.

Vegetable growers' profit would be boosted by $23 million a year.

The report said more than 90% of Australians did not eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables.

Horticulture Innovation Australia chief executive John Lloyd said the research indicated the nation could benefit if the current average daily vegetable intake of 174g was boosted to just 190g.

"If Australians ate just a handful more of broccoli or two extra carrots per week they would reduce their risk of some cancers and cardiovascular disease," he said.

"In economic terms, based on detailed modelling, all levels of government would also stand to benefit through an estimated $100 million in health expenditure savings per year combined."

The report also showed Australia was ranked 63rd in the world for vegetable consumption per head.

Tasmanians were also Australia's highest vegetable consumers, but even there only 12% of the population consumed the recommended daily intake.

The report also said vegetable consumption usually increased with age and peaked in the 75-84 year-old age group.