Friday, August 21, 2015

Are People Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables?

Daily consumption of adequate fruit and vegetable is part of a healthy diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults who have less than 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day should consume 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily. More active people may be able to consume more without adding too many calories to their diet.

Maintaining a healthy diet is important in preventing many diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. But a new study found that less than 15 percent of American adults eat enough fruits and even fewer adults eat enough vegetables daily to meet the guidelines.

From 2007 to 2010, half of total United States population consumed less than 1 cup of fruit and less than 1.5 cups of vegetables per day; 76 percent did not meet fruit intake recommendations, and 87 percent did not meet vegetable intake recommendations.

Researchers at CDC (Centers for Disease Prevention and Control) analyzed the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey of 373,580 people across all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC). People in the survey were asked about the frequency of their fruit and vegetable intake, and their personal characteristics such as ethnicity, age and income into account were taken.

In the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released on July 10, 2015, the researchers pointed out that in 2013, only 13.1 percent of people in the United States reported eating sufficient fruit and 8.9 percent reported eating enough vegetables to meet that recommendation.

Fruits and vegetables add nutrients to the diet and they can protect people from developing many chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Eating fruits and vegetables instead of foods that are high in calories, added sugars and solid fat can prevent from gaining weight, too.

Hence, substantial efforts should be made to build consumer demand for fruits and vegetables. All places including childcare, schools, grocery stores, communities and workplace should have access to fruits and vegetables that are competitively priced, prominently displayed and promoted. The CDC suggested workplaces, schools, childcare and other education providers meet or exceed current federal nutrition standards for meals and snacks by serving fruits and vegetables whenever food is offered.

While all types of fruits and vegetables count, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that most of the fruit intake should come from whole fruit instead of fruit juice and that people should eat fruits and vegetables that have limited amounts of added sugars and solid fat. The guidelines also recommend that people should raise the intake of dark green and orange vegetables as well as beans.

1 comment:

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