However, in this day and age, when there is so much information available on nutrition, we should all know better by now.
A new study carried out by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that only 15 percent of American adults, on average, eat the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables.
“It is surprising how low intake is in some southern states but how disappointingly low it is across the U.S.,” said Latetia Moore , who is the lead study author and a researcher at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Along with her team of researchers, Moore looked at the data issued by the latest Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey that was conducted all over the United States.
The findings revealed that the consumption of fruit and vegetables is incredibly low all over the country, but especially in southern states.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that people who don’t get much physical activity eat 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 or 3 cups of vegetables every day.
Even if fruit in all its forms may be taken into account, it is recommended that people eat the whole fruit and not juice. Moreover, it is important that we eat both fruit and vegetables as they are, without adding extra sugar or fat. The best vegetables to chose from are the dark green and orange ones, but beans are also very healthy.
Even if the dietary guidelines are not difficult to follow, very few U.S. adults do that. When they compared the results with the above recommendations, the researchers realized that only 13 percent of the respondents ate enough fruit and even fewer – 8.9 percent consumed enough vegetables.
The lowest consumption of fruit and vegetables was reported in Tennessee, where 7.5 percent of the Americans managed to reach the targeted intake of fruit and vegetables.
Nevertheless, the researchers point to the fact that these results are somewhat limited, because they are based on surveys, which may sometimes lack accuracy. In addition to that, the respondents came from a limited category of the American population.
The authors of the study published in CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report encourage people to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. If they complied to the dietary guidelines, their health would improve considerably and the obesity rate would decrease.
Schools should do more to encourage healthy eating by placing more nutritious options on their menu in cafeterias. It is important that Americans are educated from an early age regarding the importance of a healthy diet.
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