(Not) Eating Your Fruits and Vegetables
The CDC and your mother have something in common: They both want you to eat more fruits and veggies. Americans, as it turns out, aren't quite fulfilling those food pyramid quotas.
A report issued this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that only one-third of American adults are eating the recommended two or more servings of fruit per day, and only 27 percent are eating enough veggies -- three or more servings per day. The study also revealed that teens are doing even worse: less than 10 percent of them are getting enough fruits and vegetables.
This is far from the goal set by the CDC in 2000 to get 75 percent of Americans eating enough fruits and at least 50 percent to eat their recommended daily serving of vegetables.
The report also measured several ways that states are set up to support healthy consumption of fruits and veggies.
Researchers measured things like the number of farmer's markets per 100,000 residents; states that have policies or laws for increasing healthy food retail; and how accessible healthy food retailers are to residents.
The CDC also looked at what was available to kids in schools, and the findings weren't great. Only one in five middle and high schools surveyed had fruits and non-fried vegetables (i.e. not French fries) available to students at all.
And the findings support a link between retail availability and overall eating habits. For instance, Vermont, with 10.5 farmers markets per 100,000 residents, the highest of any state, also had the highest percentage of residents reaching the CDC goal.
As of now, only 20 states have a state-level food policy council and only eight states have a healthier food retail policy. If fruits and vegetables aren't easily available, how will you be able to eat them? So if you live in one of those states who aren't getting enough healthy servings of produce, maybe your state government's to blame.