Only 10% of Americans Eat Their Fruits and Vegetables.

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with fruits and vegetables. Although you’re not, exactly, the biggest fan, you still strive to include this food group into your daily menu, thinking it’s more than enough. Fruits and vegetables are abundant sources of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals our body needs to remain healthy. Including some vegetable in your lunch or dinner isn’t going to accomplish anything unless you meet recommended guidelines for different nutrients. The latest report shows that a vast majority of Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables and we bring you all the details below.

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with fruits and vegetables. Although you’re not, exactly, the biggest fan, you still strive to include this food group into your daily menu, thinking it’s more than enough. Fruits and vegetables are abundant sources of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals our body needs to remain healthy. Including some vegetable in your lunch or dinner isn’t going to accomplish anything unless you meet recommended guidelines for different nutrients. The latest report shows that a vast majority of Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables and we bring you all the details below.

Consumption of fruits and vegetables in the US

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is essential to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables in order to minimize the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity. Based on those guidelines, adults should eat 1.5-2.0 cup equivalents of fruit and 2.0-3.0 cups of vegetables each day.

It is needless to mention that most people don’t meet these requirements, but further details about the consumption of fruits and vegetables on a national level weren’t examined. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publisheda report that analyzed not only the consumption of produce but sociodemographic characteristics associated with it.

Researchers from the CDC analyzed data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to update their 2013 report on consumption of fruits and vegetables and determine the percentage of adults who meet the recommended guidelines. They also took into account a person’s age, race and ethnicity, and income. Data from 50 states, and the District of Columbia (DC) was analyzed.

Results showed that Americans eat fruits once per day and vegetables 1.7 times, but the numbers vary from one state to another. Since most Americans adhere to a Western diet that isn’t the healthiest eating pattern in the world, these findings only elucidate the growing need to make healthier diet choices. This is particularly important if we bear in mind that rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer are on the rise.

Key findings of fruit/vegetable consumption among US adults

The report yielded some interesting findings. For example:

  • 12.2% of adults meet fruit consumption guidelines
  • Daily consumption of fruit varies with 7.3% of adults in West Virginia meet the recommended guidelines while 15.5% of people in DC eat enough fruit
  • Only 9.3% of adults meet vegetable recommendations
  • In terms of sufficient intake of vegetables, the lowest consumption is in West Virginia with 5.8% and the highest in Alaska where 12% of people report meeting daily requirements
  • Consumption of products was low, regardless of the socioeconomic group
  • Women were more likely to meet fruit requirements (15.1%)
  • The prevalence of fruit intake among adults in the 31-50 age group was 13.8%
  • Hispanics were also more likely to meet fruit requirements (15.7%)
  • Women were also more likely to eat enough vegetables than men, about 10.9% of ladies consumed required amounts
  • Adults who were ≥51 years old were more likely to consume the recommended amount of vegetables than other age groups (10.9%)

These findings showed that about 90% of people don’t consume required daily amounts of fruits and vegetables, meaning only one in ten people do. African-Americans and Hispanics ate more fruit than Caucasians. When it comes to vegetables, more Hispanics and Caucasians met guidelines than African-Americans.

Conclusion

The latest report from the CDC showed that more than 90% of Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. These figures could explain the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, but it also shows that making dietary changes by consuming more fruits and vegetables is a practical strategy for good health and wellbeing.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6645a1.htm?s_cid=mm6645a1_w&utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=f26644060f-MR&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-f26644060f-150444909
http://time.com/5029164/fruit-vegetable-diet/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5093277/Just-10-Americans-eat-fruit-vegetables.html


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