Houzz Logo Print

young U.S. adults say no to veggies, fruits

15 years ago

Quote From

"BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhuanet) -- A federal health survey has found when it comes to eating the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables seniors in America are more likely to follow the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention than young adults.

Fewer than a third of American adults eat the amount of fruits and vegetables the government recommends, a trend that's stayed constant for more than 10 years, health officials said Thursday. That's "well below" the government's goal of getting 75 percent of Americans to eat two servings of fruits and having half of the population consume three servings of vegetables each day by 2010, said Dr. Larry Cohen of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Senior citizens were more likely than others to eat three or more servings of veggies each day, while younger adults, age 18 to 24 -- nearly four-fifths -- ate the fewest vegetables.

Seniors also ate the most fruit, with nearly 46 percent eating two or more servings of fruit daily. People age 35 to 44 ate fruit the least, with fewer than 28 percent eating the recommended amount of fruit each day.

The diet survey, part of a huge federal health survey of every state, is based on responses from 305,000 adults in 2005. It indicates the country is only about halfway toward meeting its healthy eating goal three years from now.

"We're really concerned with the lack of success in meeting these national goals," said Cohen, who works in CDC's nutrition and physical activity division.

Although the rate of fruit and vegetable consumption has remained unchanged since 1994, health officials said the goal is still within reach.

"We have more work to do over the next few years,"' said spokeswoman Rachel Ciccarone.

Specifically the survey showed 27 percent of adults ate vegetables three times a day, and about 33 percent ate fruit twice a day. A serving size is a half-cup for most fruits and vegetables, one cup for leafy greens.

The federal agency said it doesn't know why people aren't eating more fruits or vegetables. Cohen said future surveys will ask people what other foods they are eating.

Susan Krause, a clinical dietitian at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, said people are eating more refined sugars or choosing protein instead of fruits and vegetables.

"There's so much information out there and people get very confused. When they're looking at protein, they feel that's the solution when they're not looking at long-term health benefits," she said. "There's so many fabricated foods now and people are looking at convenience."'

Not only are fruits and vegetables lower-calorie, they also have minerals and fiber that help guard against chronic diseases and cancer, the CDC says.

The survey relied on people to report what they were eating. Telephone questioners asked how often they consumed fruit juice, fruit and vegetables. Although Hispanics ate the most fruits (37 percent) compared with blacks and whites, they ate the fewest vegetables, (about 20 percent). Whites, in contrast, ate the fewest fruits (31 percent) but the most veggies (28 percent). "

Comments (24)