Men Urged to Eat 9 Servings of Fruits
and Vegetables a Day to Reduce Chronic Disease Risk
black men are among the most seriously affected by diet-related chronic
diseases, they have the lowest consumption of fruits and vegetables
overall, eating an average of only 3.1 servings a day of the 9
recommended for men by federal nutrition policy, found research by the
National Cancer Institute (NCI).
3 percent of black men are even aware that men should eat 9 servings of
fruits and vegetables a day for better health, according to the NCI.
men have the highest rates of prostate, lung, colon, oral, and stomach
cancers and are over 140 percent more likely to die from cancer than
white men," said Andrew von Eschenbach, NCI director.
we recognize one third of all cancers are related to diet, this is one
area that demands our attention," Eschenbach said. "By eating 9
servings of fruits and vegetables a day, the risk of diet-related
diseases affecting the African-American community can be lowered."
NCI is focusing its efforts on reaching African-American men because
they suffer disproportionately from a variety of health conditions.
have the highest cancer incidence and mortality rates, as well as the
highest rates for certain cancers of any ethnic or racial group.
the highest rates of prostate cancer and high blood pressure in the
twice as likely as white men to develop diabetes.
diabetes and high blood pressure earlier in life than other men, and
are more likely to suffer serious side-effects from these diseases.
higher mortality rates from heart disease and obesity than other ethnic
all need to help motivate black men to eat their 9 A Day today," said
Terry Mason, M.D., of Mercy Hospital in Chicago, who speaks to
community groups across the country about how diet affects
African-American men's health.
day, I see patients who could have benefited from eating more fruits
and vegetables, but are in my office instead. I am also a black man who
eats more than 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, so I know
it's doable, and I am living the benefits. By changing my diet and
getting more physical activity, I've been able to reduce medication and
I feel great."
campaign to reach African-American men is a major priority for NCI,"
said Lorelei DiSogra, Ed.D., R.D., director of the National 5 A Day for
Better Health Program, which promotes the general recommendation for
Americans to eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. "We
are committed to driving a national, multi-year, multi-faceted
communications and education campaign to get the 9 A Day message to
support the new "eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day"
recommendation, NCI has updated its official campaign logo to emphasize
the fact that most Americans should eat more than 5 servings of fruits
and vegetables a day.
minimum of 5 servings a day is recommended for children under 6 years.
Older children and most women should eat 7 servings of fruits and
vegetables a day and teenage boys and most men should eat 9. The "eat 5
to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day" recommendation also
supports the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2000 and the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's Food Guide Pyramid.
brochure for black men is available about the health benefits of eating
more fruits and vegetables and tips on how to eat 9 A Day. For a copy
of the brochure, call NCI's Cancer Information Service at
a Web page has been developed for African-American men, www.9aday.cancer.gov.
National Cancer Institute, www.nci.gov