10 Percent of Americans Eat Recommended Amount of Fruits and Vegetables: CDC

10 Percent of Americans Eat Recommended Amount of Fruits and Vegetables: CDC

Only 10 percent of Americans eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables as per the latest CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The federal recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption suggest 2-3 cups of vegetables and 1.5-2 cups of fruit per day. The report noticed that fruit and vegetable consumption among men and young adults was lower compared to other groups.

CDC study noticed that in West Virginia, only 7 percent follow the recommendations while in Washington D.C., the percent was 16 percent. Eating fruits and vegetables regularly can reduce the risk of many chronic ailments. As per CDC data, seven out of 10 deaths in the United States are caused by chronic diseases. Health experts have repeatedly urged people to consume more of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Higher cost and limited availability have been cited as main reason for lower consumption. Another reason for lower consumption of vegetables is lack of cooking/preparation time. CDC study also noticed lower consumption among adults living in poverty. In majority of cases, packed fruit juices are of little help in terms of better nutrition. Majority of fruit juice brands have added sugars or preservatives and regular consumption of such juices can lead to other health issues. Additionally, the fiber and pulp is lost in case of juice consumption, compared to eating fresh fruits.

The report published by CDC has suggested few actions for improving access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Start or expand farm-to-institution programs in childcare, schools, hospitals, workplaces, and other institutions. Improve access to retail stores and markets that sell high quality fruits and vegetables. Ensure access to fruits and vegetables in cafeterias and other food service venues in worksites, hospitals, and universities.

CDC recommendations added that families can save time and money by chopping extra fruit or vegetables at one time and freezing the extra or choosing frozen or canned fruits and vegetables at the store.

“Families can benefit from having healthy foods available wherever they live, learn, work, and play,” said Ruth Petersen, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. “Communities, worksites, schools, hospitals, and other institutions can work together to support healthy eating for all Americans.”

CDC researchers analyzed data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate the percentage of each state’s population meeting the intake recommendations by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and poverty-income ratio for the 50 states and District of Columbia (DC).