Eat your fruits and veggies

 
By Carrie Johnson Weimar • Published: June 13th, 2007
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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It’s the cry heard at dinner tables throughout the world: Eat your fruits and vegetables.

But if you’re like most Americans, chances are you are probably falling short. Two studies published this month in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine show most American adults aren’t consuming enough fruits and veggies to stay healthy.

Since 1990, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommended at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables every day. But despite advertising campaigns and catchy slogans to promote the benchmark, researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Welch Center in Baltimore found that only thirty-two percent of Americans meet the U-S-D-A guidelines for vegetable consumption. Even fewer… twenty-eight percent… get enough fruit. A dismal eleven percent met the guidelines for both.

The researchers studied sixteen-thousand adults between 1988 and 2002 to determine trends in fruit and vegetable consumption. The answers were not encouraging. Approximately twenty-five percent of those studied reported eating no vegetables, and sixty-two percent said they did not eat fruit.

Nutritionists and public health officials say this is a serious concern because a diet high in fruits and vegetables helps reduce the risk of obesity and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

So next time you sit down to dinner, add some carrots to your plate. Or grab an apple instead of a cookie as a snack. For more information, consult the U-S-D-A’s Web site at www.usda.gov.