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Evolving stories About Growing Food in a Big City

CDC: Adults eating less fruit, not enough veggies

Cassandra West

Americans may be growing more vegetables in their back yards and community gardens, but most still don't eat enough vegetables, and fruit consumption is actually falling, according to a new government report released Thursday that shows a state by state breakdown. Vegetables

About one-third of adults in the U.S. had two or more servings of fruit or fruit juice a day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that last year. Those with the lowest body mass index also ate the most fruits and vegetables.

In 2009, an estimated 32.5 percent of U.S. adults consumed fruit two or more times per day, the CDC report shows, with the highest percentage in D.C. (40.2 percent) and the lowest in Oklahoma (18.1 percent). “The percentage of adults who consumed vegetables three or more times per day was 26.3 percent, with the highest percentage in Tennessee (33 percent) and the lowest in South Dakota (19.6 percent). Thus, no state met either of the Healthy People 2010 targets related to fruit and vegetable consumption among adults. Twelve states and D.C. had 35 percent to 45 percent of adults who consumed fruit two or more times per day, compared with no states that had 35 percent to 45 percent of adults who consumed vegetables three or more times per day.”

In Illinois, 32.4 percent of adults ate fruit two or more times a day, and 23.3 percent ate vegetables three or more times a day. In 2000, the figures were 33.3 percent and 25.8 percent, respectively.

The data come from a national telephone survey of 396,316 Americans.

Health officials say a diet high in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk for many leading causes of death and can play an important role in weight management.

The report didn’t ask people which fruits and vegetables they ate the most. But a CDC study published last year concluded that orange juice is the top source of fruit among U.S. adults and adolescents, and potatoes are the favorite vegetable, the Associated Press reported.