How much fruits and vegetables are U.S. people eating? According to a new report, not enough.
In a not-so-surprising news, almost 85% of adults in the United States are not eating enough fruits and vegetables based on the recommended dietary guidelines. This is based on the report recently released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The report aims to address which states are eating enough and how the country is faring in terms of meeting the dietary guidelines. Unfortunately, the numbers remain to be consistently low. Worse, states have far lower percentages than the national average.
For the study, a team of researchers from CDC led by Latetia Moore created a new scoring system such as using "cups per day" instead of intake frequency to help them compare states and Washington DC later. They then obtained their health data from a behavioral risk survey. The survey was self-reported and didn't include people who were health care facilities and assisted homes, military, and prisons and jails.
Based on the results, in 2013, less than 15% reported to consuming the recommended dietary recommendation from fruits and vegetables, although most tend to eat more fruit than vegetables. Per day, as many as 50% ate very little fruit per day.
Across the states and DC, Tennessee registered the lowest figures, with only 7% meeting the recommendations, half less than the national average.
According to the team, fruits and vegetables are necessary for the body. Not only do they contain the nutrients needed by the body's cells for proper metabolic function, they can also help prevent diseases including life-threatening ones such as cancer and diabetes.
Because of these, it's also essential that people, especially children, have easy access to whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, including making them more affordable.
The dietary guidelines suggest that people who are engaged in sedentary lifestyle or physical activities less than half an hour should consume at least 1.5 cups of fruits and 2 cups of vegetables every day.