CDC Study Shows Most Adults in All States Are Still Not Eating Recommended Amount of Fruits and Vegetables
Eating more fruits and vegetables adds nutrients to diets, reduces the risk for leading causes of illness and death, and helps manage body weight when consumed in place of more energy-dense foods. Depending on their age, activity level, and sex, adults should eat 1 ½ to 2 cups per day offruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables as part of a healthy eating pattern. However, a newstudy published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that most adults in every state are not eating enough fruits and vegetables. As a result, they are placing themselves at increased risk for certain chronic diseases.
In results from a nationwide survey of adults aged 18 years and older, CDC researchers saw differences, by state, in the amount of fruits and vegetables U.S. adults are eating. CDC analyzed daily fruit and vegetable intake from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the only source of dietary information for most states. Study results showed that--
· Overall, 13% of adults met fruit intake recommendations, ranging from 8% in Tennessee to 18% in California.
· A total of 9% of adults met vegetable intake recommendations, ranging from 6% in Mississippi to 13% in California.
Because of the significant health benefits associated with eating fruits and vegetables and the low intake currently across all states, researchers concluded that more work is needed to increase the demand and consumption. Some strategies for improvement in this area for adults might start with creating healthier eating patterns during childhood. Children who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables tend to eat more of them as adults. Childcare, schools, and school districts can help by meeting or exceeding federal nutrition standards for meals and snacks and by serving fruits and vegetables whenever food is offered. Also, better placement, pricing, and promotion of fruits and vegetables in grocery stores, restaurants, worksites, and communities could make it easier for adults to choose healthier foods.
What CDC is doing
CDC funds state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments to improve environments in worksites, schools, childcare, and community settings to expand access to healthy food and beverage choices for people of all ages. More information on these programs can be found at:
State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health
More resources on fruits and vegetables
CDC Podcast—”Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables”