Americans have earned an “F” on their fruit and vegetable report card, according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Researchers found we’re eating less fruit than we did in 2000, while vegetable consumption really hasn’t changed.
The CDC’s goals have been modest: 2+ servings of fruit and 3+ servings of vegetables per day. But only 33% of us were found to eat enough fruit, and only 25% of us consumed enough vegetables.
The statistics were even worse for high school students: Only 32% reported eating at least 2 servings of fruit daily; only 13% said they ate at least 3 servings of vegetables each day.
And while we may feel virtuous when buying fruit, almost half of us leave it in the refrigerator until it rots, according to a new survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by White Wave Foods. Most of those polled leave fruit in the fridge for more than a week, with Los Angelinos performing best and Bostonians taking last place.
“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 healthcare costs in the United States,” says William H. Dietz, MD, PhD, director of the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.
Vegetable juice is one viable option for those struggling to meet daily goals.
Needless to say, we recommend purchasing organic fruits, vegetables and juices to avoid exposure to pesticides.