The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published a report focused on American produce consumption. The study found that only one in 10 adult consumers are eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
The data indicated that only nine percent of adults are eating the recommended two to three cups of vegetables per day. The information collected also showed that only 12 percent of adults are consuming at least 1 ½ cups of fruit each day as recommended by federal guidelines. The report divided populations by gender, ethnicity, income, and state and found that men, young adults, and individuals living in poverty demonstrated especially low rates of produce consumption.
The CDC also has a guide with suggestions on how to increase access and consumption of fruits and vegetables. One strategy includes expanding farm-to-institution programs in schools, childcare facilities, hospitals and workplaces. The CDC also advocates for better access to fresh produce in cafeterias and other food service venues.
Increasing produce consumption can provide multiple types of health benefits. Eating fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of several chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and obesity. Plant rich diets also help to lower the risk of premature death, heart disease, and cancer. Studies have also shown benefits to cognitive development in children who eat adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables.