Produce Consumption Still Lagging: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that most Americans are eating fewer fruits and vegetables than they did a decade ago. Only 32.5 percent of adults ate two or more servings of fruit in 2010 compared to 34 percent in 2000. Vegetable consumption was virtually unchanged, with just over 25 percent taking in the recommended three servings a day.
No state met the target amounts of the Healthy People 2010 goals. Washington, D.C. topped the charts with 40.2 percent of the locals eating fruit two or more times a day. At the other end of the scale was Oklahoma, here a mere 18.1 percent hit the two-a-day mark. On the vegetable side of the plate, Tennessee did the best, with 33 percent of adults scoring the recommended amount of veggies. South Dakota scored the lowest of all states at 19.6 percent.
“Over the past decade, we have looked at behavioral interventions, like counseling to get people to include their fruits and vegetables,” said the CDC’s Jennifer Foltz. “In the next decade, we are going to work on making the healthy choice the easy choice.”
Strategies that work: Kindergartners are more likely to eat their vegetables when they are enticed by tasting parties, cooking classes, gardening, and cartoons, according to the findings of a recent study reported in the Australian journal Nutrition & Dietetics. Children involved in planting vegetable seeds, tasting parties, cooking vegetable soup, and even watching Popeye cartoons doubled their vegetable intake and tried twice as many new foods. Children also felt special when adults sat next to them and ate the same foods.
Consider. . .
- Americans spend an average of 73 minutes per day eating.
- But only 32 minutes a day are spent on food preparation and cleanup.
- Forty percent of men contributed to food preparation and cleanup, compared to 68 percent of women.
More resources. . .