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September 9th, 2010
04:02 PM ET

A decade short on fruits and vegetables

New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms what you may already know– Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.  But you may be surprised by this:  The daily rate of consumption for both has not improved in the last decade, according to the figures.

In 2009, more than 32 percent of adults in the United States ate fruit at least twice a day. That figure has declined since 2000, when 34 percent of the population was meeting the recommended daily intake. Those numbers pale in comparison to the government's targeted objective of 75 percent of the adult population.

The picture is just as bleak when it comes to vegetables. Last year only 26 percent of adults ate vegetables at least three times a day– about half of the government's target of  50 percent of adults.

Because of these numbers, the CDC says no state met the Healthy People 2010 national objectives for eating fruits and vegetables. Idaho was the only state to improve its consumption from 2000 to 2009.

In a time when obesity has become a topic of national conversation, why aren't more people eating enough fruits and vegetables? The CDC thinks the numbers point to a lack of affordability and accessibility, noting that "intensified, multisector (e.g., agricul­ture, business, food industry, and health care) and multisetting (e.g., worksite, school, child care, and community) approaches are necessary to improve access, availability, and affordability of fruits and vegetables."

Data for this report were collected via a telephone survey of adults age 18 and older. One limitation to this study is that only people with landlines were surveyed.

For the full report, please click here.


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