Most Americans Still Skip Fruits and Vegetables

All 50 states continue to lag behind recommended intake guidelines, CDC says.

ByCHARLES BANKHEAD, <a href=""target="external">MedPage Today</a> Staff Writer
September 09, 2010, 3:39 PM

Sept. 9, 2010&#151; -- Fruit and vegetable consumption increased significantly in only one state during the past decade, while all 50 states and the District of Columbia continued to fall far short of recommended daily intake, according to a study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Only Idaho had a significant increase in the proportion of residents who consumed at least two servings of fruit and at least three servings of vegetables daily during 2000 to 2009. However, the absolute increases were small -- 27.9 percent to 32.9 percent for fruits and 24.7 percent to 27.8 percent for vegetables.

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At the opposite end of the consumption spectrum, 10 states had small but statistically significant decreases in the proportion of residents who consumed the recommended number of servings of fruit and vegetables, investigators reported in the Sept. 10 issue of MMWR: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Overall, about a third of American adults ate at least two servings of vegetables daily during 2009, and about a fourth consumed at least three servings of vegetables daily.

"The findings in this report indicate that 2009 overall and state-specific estimates of the proportions of U.S. adults consuming fruit two or more times per day or vegetables three or more times per day were far short of the targets set by Healthy People 2010," Kirsten A. Grimm and coinvestigators wrote in the discussion of their findings.

The Healthy People 2010 campaign builds on an initiative begun in 1979 by the Office of the Surgeon General to promote preventive care and healthy lifestyle behaviors. Among other objectives, Healthy People 2010 established targets of 75 percent for the proportion of Americans age 2 or older who consumed two or more servings of fruit and 50 percent for consumption of three or more servings of vegetables every day.

Americans Must Eat More Fruits, Vegetables, CDC Says

To examine states' progress toward the goals, investigators analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The analysis covered trends from 2000 through 2009. The data showed that:

To facilitate progress toward the consumption targets, the authors called for intensified approaches to improve access, availability, and affordability of fruits and vegetables.

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