CHICAGO -- Most Americans Eat Less Than Recommended Amounts of Fruits and Vegetables
Americans are not eating nearly enough of the new daily recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, according to researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Cancer Institute.
The researchers studied the proportion of the population that met both the government's previous and latest recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake advocated in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's new MyPyramid food guide.
According to the study, in 1999-2000, just 40 percent of the American population met the then current recommendations to eat an average of five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The figures were as low as 10 percent among girls ages 4 to 8 and as high as 60 percent among men ages 51 to 70.
The new MyPyramid recommendations are 2 to 6 ½ cups per day of fruits and vegetables. The researchers reported that adequate intakes of fruits and vegetables ranged from a low of 0.7 percent of boys age 14 to 18 years, whose combined recommendation is five cups, to a high of 48 percent of children age 2 to 3, whose combined recommendation is one cup. Among women age 51 to 70 years, only 17 percent met their combined recommendation. Among all other sex-age groups, fewer than 11 percent met their goals.
The researchers conclude with a call to action: "Nutrition and other health-care professionals must help consumers realize that for everyone over age 3 years, the new recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake are greater, and in many cases much greater, than the familiar five servings per day."
Salad and Raw Vegetable Consumption and Nutritional Status in U.S. Adults
People who eat salads tend to have above-average intakes of nutrients like vitamin C, E, folic acid, lycopene and carotenoids, according to researchers at the University of California. Studying data from nearly
Contact: Jennifer Starkey
American Dietetic Association