Majority of Americans not Meeting Recommendations for
Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
No U.S. state is meeting
national objectives for consumption of fruits and vegetables, according
to the first report to provide state-by-state data about fruit and
vegetable consumption andpolicies that may help Americans eat more
fruits and vegetables.
"State Indicator Report on
Fruits and Vegetables, 2009" was released by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Healthy People 2010
objectives aim for at least 75 percent of Americans to eat the
recommended two or more daily servings of fruit, and for at least 50
percent of Americans to eat the recommended three or more servings of
vegetables daily. However, CDC surveys indicate that only 33 percent of
adults meet the recommendation for fruit consumption and 27 percent get
the recommended servings of vegetables. The statistics are even worse
for high school students – 32 percent report eating at least
two servings of fruit daily and 13 percent say they eat at least three
servings of vegetables each day.
"A diet high in fruits and
vegetables is important for optimal child growth, maintaining a healthy
weight, and prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart
disease and some cancers, all of which currently contribute to health
care costs in the United States," said Dr.
William H. Dietz, director of
CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity said "This
report will help states determine what is taking place in their
communities and schools and come up with ways to encourage people to
eat more fruits and vegetables."
The report highlights
consumption and three key policy and environmental areas:
Healthier Food Retail:
Retailers, such as supermarkets and grocery stores that stock a variety
of high–quality fruits and vegetables are a critical asset
for the health of residents.
Only eight states have a
policy for healthier food retail improvements, which can help increase
the number of full–service grocery stores in areas where they
are unavailable, increase the availability of healthier foods in small
food stores, and promote healthier foods through information at the
point of purchase.
Healthier Foods in Schools: Schools are in a unique position
to influence and promote fruit and vegetable intake among youth, school
staff, parents, and other community members.
Only 1 in 5 (21 percent)
middle and high schools offer fruits and non–fried vegetables
in vending machines, school stores or snack bars.
21 states have a policy to
support farm-to-school programs that can increase access to fruits and
vegetables as well as teach school children about nutrition and
Food System Support:
A systems approach to food considers many factors involved in getting
fruits and vegetables from farms to consumers, including the roles of
growers, processors and retailers. Food policy councils are
organizations made up of many agencies and community organizations that
look at access of fresh produce at the community and state levels.
These councils make recommendations about policies and programs such as
farm–to–school programs, community gardens, farmers
markets and availability of fresh produce in supermarkets.
20 states have a state-level
food policy council, and 59 local food policy councils exist across the
"We have seen the tremendous
benefit of state and local officials, health professionals, employers,
food store owners, farmers, school staff, and community members working
together on food and nutrition issues," said Heidi Michels Blanck,
Ph.D., CDC epidemiologist. "Their efforts can help to increase the
availability of affordable healthier food choices such as fruits and
The State Indicator Report on
Fruits and Vegetable, 2009 is available at www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/indicatorreport/.
For more information on the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visit www.cdc.gov.