"State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2009" was released
today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Healthy People 2010 objectives aim for at least 75 percent of
Americans to eat the recommended two or more daily servings of fruit,
and for at least 50 percent of Americans to eat the recommended three or
more servings of vegetables daily. However, CDC surveys indicate that
only 33 percent of adults meet the recommendation for fruit consumption
and 27 percent get the recommended servings of vegetables. The
statistics are even worse for high school students - 32 percent report
eating at least two servings of fruit daily and 13 percent say they eat
at least three servings of vegetables each day.
"A diet high in fruits and vegetables is important for optimal child
growth, maintaining a healthy weight, and prevention of chronic diseases
such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, all of which currently
contribute to health care costs in the United States," said Dr. William
H. Dietz, director of CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity,
and Obesity. "This report will help states determine what is taking
place in their communities and schools and come up with ways to
encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables."
The report highlights consumption and three key policy and environmental
Healthier Food Retail: Retailers, such as supermarkets and grocery
stores that stock a variety of high-quality fruits and vegetables are a
critical asset for the health of residents.
* Only eight states have a policy for healthier food retail
improvements, which can help increase the number of full-service grocery
stores in areas where they are unavailable, increase the availability of
healthier foods in small food stores, and promote healthier foods
through information at the point of purchase.
Availability of Healthier Foods in Schools: Schools are in a unique
position to influence and promote fruit and vegetable intake among
youth, school staff, parents, and other community members.
* Only 1 in 5 (21 percent) middle and high schools offer fruits and
non-fried vegetables in vending machines, school stores or snack bars.
* 21 states have a policy to support farm-to-school programs that can
increase access to fruits and vegetables as well as teach school
children about nutrition and agriculture.
Food System Support: A systems approach to food considers many factors
involved in getting fruits and vegetables from farms to consumers,
including the roles of growers, processors and retailers. Food policy
councils are organizations made up of many agencies and community
organizations that look at access of fresh produce at the community and
state levels. These councils make recommendations about policies and
programs such as farm-to-school programs, community gardens, farmers
markets and availability of fresh produce in supermarkets.
* 20 states have a state-level food policy council, and 59 local food
policy councils exist across the nation.
"We have seen the tremendous benefit of state and local officials,
health professionals, employers, food store owners, farmers, school
staff, and community members working together on food and nutrition
issues," said Heidi Michels Blanck, Ph.D., CDC epidemiologist. "Their
efforts can help to increase the availability of affordable healthier
food choices such as fruits and vegetables."
The State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetable, 2009 is available at
CDC is a partner in the national fruit and vegetable program and
provides resources for September National Fruits & Veggies - More
Matters month at http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov.
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