Few American Adults Eat Recommended Amount of Fruit, Vegetables

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Addressing barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption, such as cost or availability, could improve intake.
Addressing barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption, such as cost or availability, could improve intake.

HealthDay News — Across all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC), few adults consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, according to research published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that adults should consume 1.5 to 2.0 cup equivalents of fruit and 2.0 to 3.0 cups of vegetables per day, Seung Hee Lee-Kwan, PhD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate the percentage of each state's population meeting intake recommendations by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and income-to-poverty ratio.

The researchers found that 12.2% of adults met fruit recommendations, with variation from 7.3% in West Virginia to 15.5% in DC. For vegetables, 9.3% of adults met the recommendations overall, with variation from 5.8% in West Virginia to 12.0% in Alaska.

Across all socioeconomic groups, intake was low. Women (15.1%), adults aged 31 to 50 years (13.8%), and Hispanics (15.7%) had the highest prevalence of meeting the fruit intake recommendations; for vegetables, women (10.9%), adults aged ≥51 years (10.9%), and persons in the highest income group (11.4%) had the highest prevalence.

"Evidence-based strategies that address barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption such as cost or limited availability could improve consumption and help prevent diet-related chronic disease," the authors write.

Reference

Lee-Kwan SH, Moore LV, Blanck HM, Harris DM, Galuska D. Disparities in state-specific adult fruit and vegetable consumption - United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkl Rep. 2017; 66(45):1241-1247.

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