Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the "State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2009." This document summarizes data for fruit and vegetable consumption from multiple sources and, for the first time, breaks the results down by state. It also discusses policies and environmental supports that can make it easier for everyone to eat more fruits and vegetables.
The State Indicator Report shows that all states in the country fall short of national objectives for consumption of fruits and vegetables, which aim for 75% of Americans to eat at least two servings of fruit, and for 50% of Americans to eat at least three servings of vegetables daily.
Nationally, CDC supported state surveys indicate that only 33% of adults are meeting the recommendation for fruit consumption and 27% are meeting the vegetable recommendation. On average, only 14% of American adults consume at least two servings of fruit and at least three servings of vegetables each day. The statistics are even worse for high school students: 32% of them report eating at least two fruit servings daily and 13% say they eat at least three vegetable servings each day. On average, only 9.5% of American adolescents consume at least two servings of fruit and at least three servings of vegetables each day.
"A diet high in fruits and vegetables is important for optimal growth in children, weight management, and the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers," said Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation. "The State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables clearly shows that, while some areas are doing a better job of encouraging and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, policies need to be implemented or improved to promote healthy eating to both children and adults. The Fruits and Veggies-More Matters website, fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, can act as a resource to assist in these efforts."
While all states are well below recommendations, those states doing a better job of eating their two or more fruit servings and three or more vegetable servings are:
District of Columbia – 20.1%
Vermont – 17.9%
Maine – 17.7%
Hawaii – 17.5%
New York – 16.5%
Massachusetts – 16.4%
Connecticut and New Hampshire – 16.2% (tie)
Arizona and California – 16.1% (tie)
Vermont – 11.4%
Florida – 10.9%
Connecticut – 10.4%
Kansas and New Hampshire – 10.1% (tie)
Illinois and Maine – 10% (tie)
Hawaii – 9.2%
Indiana and District of Columbia – 8.8% (tie)
Among the states most in need of improving fruit and vegetable consumption are:
Mississippi – 8.8%
Oklahoma and South Carolina – 9.3% (tie)
Alabama – 9.8%
South Dakota – 10%
West Virginia – 10.3%
Kansas – 10.6%
Kentucky and North Carolina – 10.8% (tie)
Arkansas and Missouri – 11.2% (tie)
Arkansas – 5.2%
North Carolina – 6%
Kentucky – 6.1%
South Carolina – 6.3%
Wisconsin – 6.7%
Alaska and Oklahoma – 7% (tie)
Maryland and Ohio – 7.2% (tie)
Arizona, Michigan, and Utah – 7.4% (tie)
Adolescent Data Unavailable for: California, Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
"The State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetable, 2009" is available from CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/) at www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/indicatorreport.
Source: press release from the Produce For Better Health Foundation