In an attempt to tackle poor vegetable intake among adults, Australian scientists today launched a smartphone app that challenges people to eat more veggies.
The VegEze app aims to motivate people to add extra vegetables to their daily diets and form long-term, healthier habits through a 21-day Do 3 at Dinner challenge.
It helps people track their intake and tally up vegetable serves, with daily reminders and rewards to help people stay motivated and on-track.
"Our research found two out of three Australian adults are not eating enough vegetables, especially as part of their evening meal. Its time to find more engaging, effective approaches to help break these entrenched diet habits," said Manny Noakes, from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia.
"Committing to eating more vegetables every day is one of the most important ways we can improve our health today. Boosting your intake can be as easy as having three types of vegetables taking up half of your dinner plate," said Noakes.
After using the app every day, users would feel more confident in adding more vegetables to their menu.
"The beneficial nutrients and fibre from vegetables can help improve digestion, and fill you up ? which can help reduce eating too much unhealthy junk food," said Noakes.
Since May 2015, researchers at CSIRO studied the dietary habits of more than 191,000 adults for its Healthy Diet Score research.
Further research of 1068 adults showed some people were being held back from eating more vegetables by low awareness, lack of time and low confidence.
To help people overcome these barriers, the VegEze app features educational resources such as a visual guide to specific vegetable serve sizes, vegetable recipes, nutritional information and motivational rewards.