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Study: Americans Still Lagging in Fruit, Vegetables Consumption
September 13, 2010

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Despite considerable advice to the contrary, Americans still aren't eating enough fruits or vegetables every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A new study has found that only 32 percent of Americans surveyed reported eating fruit at least twice a day. An even lower 26 percent reported eating at least three vegetables a day. The CDC consulted hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide. The same survey done in 2000 found percentages of 34 percent (fruits) and 26 percent (vegetables).

The questions asked were these:

  1. How often do you drink fruit juices such as orange, grapefruit, or tomato?
  2. Not counting juice, how often do you eat fruit?
  3. How often do you eat green salad?
  4. How often do you eat potatoes, not including French fries, fried potatoes, or potato chips?
  5. How often do you eat carrots?
  6. Not counting carrots, potatoes, or salad, how many servings of vegetables do you usually eat?

The study reported that California residents ate the most fruits and Tennessee residents ate the most vegetables. At the bottom of the tables were Oklahoma (fruits) and South Dakota (vegetables).

The fruit most consumed, according to the survey, is fruit juice, specifically orange juice. The champion vegetable, the survey found, is the potato (which many nutritionists consider a starch, not necessarily a vegetable).

Nearly all recommendations for eating healthy food include targets of eating five fruits and vegetables a day, with the daily fruits target being at least two and the daily vegetables target being at least three. Most dietitians and nutritionists recommend a mix of different kinds of fruits and vegetables.

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