Almost everyone needs to eat fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are natural source of energy and give body many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may protect from chronic diseases including stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers. Most of us are aware of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables but despite of the fact we do not like to eat them per our daily recommended allowance. This fact is further supported by a latest study released by the Centers for disease Control and prevention (CDC) in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for Sept. 10. The report unveils that most Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.
About the report
Researchers analyzed the data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an ongoing, state-based telephone survey of civilians in the U.S. aged 18 and over. The findings stated that:
- In 2009, only 32.5% of adults in the U.S. ate fruit two or more times daily. The figure has declined since 2000, when 34% of the population was meeting the recommended daily intake.
- In 2009, only 26.3% ate vegetables three or more times per day, which is about half of the government’s target of 50% of adults.
- Washington, D.C., had the highest percentage (40.2%) of adults eating fruit twice or more per day
- Oklahoma had the lowest percentage (18.1%) of adults eating fruits.
- Tennessee had the highest percentage (33%) of adults eating the recommended amount of vegetables.
- South Dakota had the lowest percentage (19.6%) of adults eating the vegetables
The report also reveals that some subgroups has shown improvements in reaching CDC goals.
- 36.1% of women compared to 28.7% of men ate fruit two or more times per day in 2009.
- 30.9% of women compared to 21.4% of men ate vegetables at least three times daily.
- 41.3% of people 65 and older ate the recommended amount of fruits, and 29% ate vegetables three or more times daily.
- 36.9% of college graduates ate recommended amount of fruits, and 32.2% vegetables.
- 32.9% of people with annual household incomes of $50,000 or more ate the recommended amount of fruits, and 29.4% vegetables.
- Hispanics had the highest prevalence of...
fruit consumption at 37.2% but the lowest prevalence of vegetable consumption, 19.7%.
- 36.9% of college graduates met fruit guidelines, and 32.2% ate the recommended amounts of vegetables.
Based on the data, CDC says no state met the Healthy People 2010 national objectives for eating fruits and vegetables.
Healthy People 2010 objectives for fruits and vegetables include targets of increasing to 75% the proportion of persons aged ≥2 years who consume two or more servings of fruit daily and to 50% those who consume three or more servings of vegetables daily.
I am sure after reading the article you might to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables in your diet. If you are wondering how easily and quickly you can include them into your diet, here are some tips-
- Add fruit to your breakfast cereal or oatmeal (not just bananas, but also try apples, grapes, berries, peaches, or mandarin oranges).
- Snack on mini-carrots or dried fruit at work instead of candy.
- Add to your take-out dinner with fruits and vegetables from home.
- Microwave a vegetable to add to your dinner or eat some fruit for dessert.
Fruits and vegetables are essential for everyone and the daily requirement is dependent on your calorie needs. Your calorie needs are determined by your age, sex, and physical activity level. To get more information, please visit How Many Fruits and Vegetables Do You Need?