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Few U.S. Adults Meet Fruit, Veg Intake Recommendations

TUESDAY, Nov. 21, 2017 -- Across all 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.), few adults consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, according to research published in the Nov. 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that adults should consume 1.5 to 2.0 cup equivalents of fruit and 2.0 to 3.0 cups of vegetables per day, Seung Hee Lee-Kwan, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate the percentage of each state's population meeting intake recommendations by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and income-to-poverty ratio.

The researchers found that 12.2 percent of adults met fruit recommendations, with variation from 7.3 percent in West Virginia to 15.5 percent in D.C. For vegetables, 9.3 percent of adults met the recommendations overall, with variation from 5.8 percent in West Virginia to 12.0 percent in Alaska. Across all socioeconomic groups, intake was low. Women (15.1 percent), adults aged 31 to 50 years (13.8 percent), and Hispanics (15.7 percent) had the highest prevalence of meeting the fruit intake recommendations; for vegetables, women (10.9 percent), adults aged ≥51 years (10.9 percent), and persons in the highest income group (11.4 percent) had the highest prevalence.

"Evidence-based strategies that address barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption such as cost or limited availability could improve consumption and help prevent diet-related chronic disease," the authors write.

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Posted: November 2017