Press Releases 2017

New survey highlights eating habits of young people in Quebec
Fruits and vegetables: a priority for parents, but consumption remains a challenge with young people

Montreal, March 23, 2017 – Fruits and vegetables are a priority for feeding young people, according to 85% of parents, but children between the ages of 6 and 17 barely eat the recommended amount. That’s what this new study conducted for METRO reveals, as part of its Green Apple School Program. Although it is recommended to include 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet, the survey shows that teenagers only consume 4.6 portions. The situation is slightly more encouraging for children between the ages of 6 to 12, as they eat the minimum number of servings suggested, at 5.3.

Conducted by Léger between November 17 and December 2, the online survey was asked to 1,555 Quebec adults who have at least one child between the ages of 6 and 17. Following up on an initial study conducted in 2013 on the eating habits of young Quebeckers, this more elaborate new survey now includes a section that is completely devoted to fruit and vegetable consumption.

“The results of this survey remind us how important it is to continue programs that raise awareness among young people about healthy eating, such as the Green Apple School Program, which encourages elementary schools and high schools in Quebec to implement projects that promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables” pointed out Marie-Claude Bacon, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs Department for Metro. “Along with our merchants, we have already donated five million dollars to Quebec schools over the past five years, and we hope to continue this initiative that contributes to adopting good eating habits that have a positive impact on young people’s home, school and community” she added.

Consumption of fruits and vegetables
According to the survey, elementary school-age children eat an average of 2.8 servings of fruit and 2.5 servings of vegetables per day. Consumption is lower among teens, who eat 2.4 servings of fruit and 2.2 servings of vegetables each day. Furthermore, the survey points out that fruits and vegetables are a must in what parents perceive to be a healthy diet for their children. In fact, 85% of them spontaneously mentioned that when asked about the subject. It was also noted that three quarters (75%) of respondents feel that their children always or often eat healthy.

“We can therefore conclude that fruits and vegetables really are a priority for parents, but that consumption represents a challenge” says dietician Linda Montpetit. “According to the child’s personality, you can try various techniques to encourage consumption. For some vegetables, the child has to be exposed to them 10 or even 20 times before learning to enjoy how they taste. Fruits and vegetables are directly linked to a healthy diet, particularly because of their fibre, mineral and vitamin content. By incorporating them into our young people’s routine, we ensure that their nutritional needs are met and that we fully contribute to their growth.”

Eating habits
Differences in eating habits between the two age groups identified are also highlighted in the survey. According to the study:

  • 70% of young people between the ages of 13 and 17 help make their lunch versus 53% of children between the ages of 6 and 12.
  • 37% of young people between the ages of 13 and 17 ask their parents for a healthier menu versus 26% of children between the ages of 6 and 123
  • 41% of young people are described as being “difficult” when it comes to their food preferences while the great majority of them (88%) enjoy eating.
  • Of that number, 31% are described as taking great pleasure in eating.

For Linda Montpetit, adopting a healthy diet usually follows a logical cycle. “The more children care, the more involved they get and the more they tend to eat better. So we recommend making them aware of their own diet from a very young age, by keeping the pleasure of eating right at the heart of the process” she concludes.

About the Green Apple School Program
Launched in 2012, Metro’s Green Apple School Program aims to encourage children to develop healthy eating habits by taking part in completing a project focusing on a healthy diet, whose scope will have a positive impact on their home, school or community. Since the program was launched, Metro and its Metro and Super C merchants have donated five million dollars to elementary schools and high schools in Quebec, which has led to creating hundreds of gardens and healthy recipe books, the setting up of thousands of cooking workshops and culinary discoveries and, of course, thousands of hours of fun and learning.

About Metro
With annual sales of over $12 billion, METRO INC. (TSX: MRU), founded in 1947, is the only major Canadian food distribution company to have its head office in Quebec. Along with its affiliates and franchisees, METRO INC. employs in Quebec and Ontario over 65,000 people, whose mission is to exceed their customers’ expectations every day to earn their-long term loyalty. METRO INC. operates a network of almost 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners. For more information, visit



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Geneviève Grégoire
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