Regardless of how high, it’s not good enough according to the CDC.
On a recent walk in my Southern California neighborhood, I noticed that the line to the In-and-Out Burger fast food franchise was, as usual, very long while a nearby restaurant touting fresh vegetables and salads was all but empty.
California sits high on top of a new state ranking in the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. But as the traffic at various restaurants even in this state known for its healthy lifestyles indicate, the number of Californians getting enough of their veggies is still very low. Only 17% of them consume the RDA of fruit and only 13% get the RDA of vegetables.
According to a new study published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, only 13% of Americans are eating enough fruit each day and only about 9% are getting enough vegetables in their diets.
The information for the study was actually gathered in 2013 but was just released this week by the CDC. They surveyed almost 400,000 adults by random telephone calls and threw out any data that seemed implausibly high such as the few that claimed to eat 23 servings of vegetables a day. According to the CDC, consumption of fruits and vegetables at the recommended daily allowance helps greatly reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer. They recommend consuming 2 cups of fruit along with 3 cups of vegetables each day—echoing the long touted “Five a Day” campaign that produce organizations have promoted for decades.
It was no surprise that California led the 50 States and the District of Columbia where the survey was focused. Access to fresh produce year-round is no doubt a great advantage to the Golden State residents. And also it was probably no surprise to most that the poorer states like Mississippi, Tennessee and West Virginia were at the bottom of the list. The CDC stated in its report that only 70% of the various regions that define the U.S. census tracks have access to a wide variety of affordable fruits and vegetables.
The CDC concluded in its report that, “Substantial new efforts are needed to build consumer demand for fruits and vegetables through competitive pricing, placement, and promotion in child care, schools, grocery stores, communities, and worksites.”
Some states are taking the initiative to make sure their residents have access to fresh produce. Twenty-eight states now have “farm-to-school” programs and 27 states have formed coalitions between private and public organizations to work toward greater access and awareness of healthy foods.
Produce Buzz was founded to help in the promotion side of this effort. We hope you will join our community and help us spread the joy and the benefits of eating healthier.