Americans still not eating enough fruits and vegetables, according to two recent studiesMarch 19, 2007
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research in Baltimore analyzed NHANES data (National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys) to determine trends over time for fruit and vegetable consumption among American adults. The answers are not encouraging. Despite campaigns and slogans, Americans have not increased their consumption, with 28% and 32% meeting USDA guidelines for fruits and vegetables, respectively, and less than 11% meeting the current USDA guidelines for both fruits and vegetables.
The study included 14,997 adults ( ≥18 years) from 1988 to 1994 and 8,910 adults from 1999 to 2002 with complete demographic and dietary data. Approximately 62% did not consume any whole fruit servings and 25% of participants reported eating no daily vegetable servings. There was no improvement in Americans' fruit consumption during this period and there was a small decrease in vegetable intake.
In the article, Tiffany Gary, PhD, states, "Low fruit and vegetable consumption with no indication of improvement between 1988 and 2002 as well as consumption disparities across ethnic, income, and educational groups should alarm public health officials and professionals. With two thirds of the U.S. adult population overweight or obese, the implications of a diet low in fruits and vegetables are extensive... New strategies, in addition to the 5-A-Day Campaign, are necessary to help Americans make desirable behavioral changes to consume a healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables."
Previous studies have shown a disparity in the diets of blacks and whites, as well as a more serious disparity in the incidence of heart disease, cancer and stroke. A second article published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examined whether the diets of non-Hispanic blacks have improved relative to the diets of whites.
Also working with the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) I (1971-75); II (1976-1980); III (1988-1994); 1999-2000; and 2001-2002, researchers found that little progress has been made in closing the gap between blacks and whites. In fact, the authors point out that the results are remarkable for similarity of trajectories in all race-gender groups. The quantity of food, total energy intake, energy from carbohydrate, and energy density increased, and energy from total and saturated fat and cholesterol intake decreased across the board. These results suggest a population-wide shift in intake of energy and macronutrients over the 3-decade span of the four surveys and may reflect changes in diet that were adopted by all race-gender groups.
Dr. Ashima Kant, PhD, Queens College of the City University of New York, concludes, "Dietary intake trends in blacks and whites over the past several decades appear to be similar - suggesting that previously identified dietary risk factors that differentially affect black Americans have not improved in a relative sense. The differences observed need to be confirmed with biomarkers, but would seem sufficiently strong to warrant intensified study and action to better understand the sociocultural or environmental factors that anchor these persistent differentials and identify approaches to effect change while building on strengths of current dietary patterns where possible."
Emphasizing the need to encourage proper diet, Linda C Nebeling, PhD, MD, RD, FADA, of the National Cancer Institute, NIH, states in a commentary in the same issue, "The majority of U.S. adults continue to consume fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Increases in public awareness of the importance of and recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption are yet to be accompanied by increased intake, demonstrating the need for a reinvigorated effort to promote fruit and vegetable consumption. On March 19, 2007 'Fruits & Veggies-More Matters' will be launched. This effort will build on the strong public-private partnership begun in 1991 by the 5-A-Day for Better Health Program."
Elsevier Health Sciences
Related Vegetable Consumption Current Events and Vegetable Consumption News Articles
Experts explore impacts of childhood feeding practices, policies on vegetable consumption
While the body of evidence for feeding recommendations for children continues to evolve, one constant remains: Children do not eat enough vegetables.
Study: Eat school lunch after recess
Because of a federal rule, kids throw away millions of dollars of fruits and vegetables every single day at school.
The recess swap
Students participating in the National School Lunch Program are required to select a fruit and a vegetable side. This regulation is intended to get students to eat more fruits and vegetables; however, just because an apple and green beans made it on to the tray doesn't mean that they will be eaten.
Men's diets are related to local offerings, unlike women's
Canadian men's eating habits are associated with the availability of healthy food sources in their residential neighbourhood but women's are not, according to researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHUM hospital.
Low Income Kids Eat More Fruits and Vegetables When They are in School
The fruits and vegetables provided at school deliver an important dietary boost to low income adolescents, according to Meghan Longacre, PhD and Madeline Dalton, PhD of Dartmouth Hitchcock's Norris Cotton Cancer Center and The Hood Center for Children and Families.
Theory or not? Best study designs for increasing vegetable intake in children
Researchers try to develop interventions that are most likely to work. Some times that involves deciding which activities should be included, such as whether to have cooking classes or be involved in a garden.
Spices and herbs: Improving public health through flavorful eating -- a call to action
Spices and herbs can play a significant role in improving America's health by helping to reduce sodium, calorie and fat intake while making healthy eating more appealing, conclude the authors of a scientific supplement published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrition Today.
Mindfulness associated with better health
A new study that measured "dispositional mindfulness" along with seven indicators of cardiovascular health found that persons reporting higher degrees of awareness of their present feelings and experiences had better health.
US college students eat their vegetables. Really?!
U.S. college students do better than their counterparts in the United Kingdom when it comes to physical activity, a healthy diet and less smoking, according to new research published in the latest issue of the journal Education and Health.
Eating five a day may keep the blues away
Fruit and vegetable consumption could be as good for your mental as your physical health, new research suggests.
More Vegetable Consumption Current Events and Vegetable Consumption News Articles