Our Fruit And Vegetable Intake
Is Now A Major Chronic
Public Health Issue

Goals were created back in 2000 by the Health Department and other agencies for fruit and vegetable consumption and now nearing the end of 2010 they look certain to be missed. The National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance (NFVA) found that very few Americans meet the daily recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption.

Some progress has been made, but some has also been lost. This is a chronic public health issue.

The average American's fruit and vegetable consumption has remained relatively flat and far below the recommended amounts of 5-13 fruits and vegetable servings per day. The average consumption is 1.13 cups of vegetables and 0.68 cups of fruit as you can see in the chart below.

Only 6% of individuals achieve their recommended target for vegetables and only 8% achieved the target for fruit per day. See both charts below.

It is not surprising that 8 states who have the lowest fruit and vegetable consumption are also in the top 10 for states with the highest obesity rates.

Some positive out of this is that children under the age of 6 have increased their fruit intake by 11% and vegetable consumption by 3% in the last 5 years. Also during that same period children ages 6-12 increase fruit intake by 7% and vegetable intake by 2%.

On the negative side teenagers between 13-17 years old decreased fruit consumption by 2% and vegetable intake by 6%.

Both males and females between the age of 18-34 for men and 18-54 for women increased their fruit consumption by at least 5% in the last 5 years. Though men 45-54 and women 65 and older decreased their fruit consumption.

I think some of this has to do with those fearing that fruit makes them fat and that it contains sugars and we can't eat any type of sugar.

It doesn't explain why zero groups increased their vegetable intake more than 5% and that teenagers 13-17, males 65 and older, and females 55 and older decreased their consumption by at least 5%.

Obviously what has been attempted in regards to promotion and marketing has not been working and this has been recognized. So groups such as the NFVA and others have worked on developing new programs and promotions to try and get individuals to recognize the importance of fruits and vegetables.

Especially since including fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet is likely to reduce the risk of chronic diseases including stroke, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. They may also help control weight since they are low in calories and high in fiber.

In 2008 obesity related health care costs totaled an estimated $147 billion which was 10% of all medical spending in the United States.

Based on the current data there is a lot of progress that needs to be made to reach 5-13 servings per day since right now the current intake is around 2-3 servings.

Even if you are one of the 8% that is actually meeting the daily suggested intake of fruits and vegetables I am willing to bet that you are not eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to consume all the different vitamins and minerals.

This is why even doctors and other medical organizations are recommending a quality daily multivitamin supplement. This is a major public health issue and it seems to not be getting any better so the least you can do is take a quality whole food based multivitamin every day so that you consume quality vitamins and minerals that you are not receiving from your current food intake.

Then of course start working on increasing your daily fruit and vegetable consumption.

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The Top 8 Nutrition
Questions You Need To Ask Yourself

Our Fruit And Vegetable Intake Is Now
A Major Chronic Public Health Issue