It must be that ‘one apple a day keeps the doctor away’ is not too popular with U.S. adults who have been found to consume very few fruits and vegetables.
A new study under the supervision of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention at the CDC indicates that U.S. adults are really lagging at eating fruits and vegetables, regardless of recommendations at the federal level.
At the federal level, U.S. health authorities recommend that a total of 1.5 cups of fruits are consumed daily, with between 2 and 3 cups of vegetables recommended daily. None of the U.S. states meet these recommendations.
Overall, about 15 percent of U.S. adults stated that they comply with the federal recommendations regarding fruit and vegetable intake. The data for the study was retrieved from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, that comprised data on all states and the Columbia district.
It is unclear what underpins the low consumption of fruits and vegetables among U.S. adults. As they are brimming with healthy nutrients, they should be on the shopping list of every American. Yet, the study shows the reality is different. Latetia Moore, the lead author of the study stated:
“Fruits and vegetable are major contributors of important nutrients that are typically lacking from Americans’ diets and they can protect against many leading causes of illness and death like heart disease, stroke and some cancer. Eating fruits and vegetable in place of food that are high in calories, added sugars and solid fat can also help with weight management”.
According to the study, the highest percentage of U.S. adults complying with federal recommendations concerning the daily intake of fruits and vegetables is 17.7 percent. This is representative for the state of California.
If this might seem worrisome, the other states are real laggers. In Mississippi, only 5.5 percent of the adult residents managed to eat the fruit and vegetables every day. In Tennessee, 7.5 percent of the residents achieved this goal.
Overall, frequency of vegetable intake was calculated at 1.7 times per day for all states included in the study.
According to the researchers, the percentages are quite disappointing. If the state by state percentages are averaged, a total of 13 percent of U.S. adults meet the federal recommendation for daily vegetable intake, while 8.9 for fruit intake.
For further reference, the results of the study feature in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the CDC.
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