Teens Still Not Getting Enough Fruits and Vegetables, CDC Report Finds
October 20, 2009 -- Nine years after the publication of Healthy People 2010, not one state has met the report's recommended consumption of fruits and vegetables. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examining fruit and vegetable consumption within each state says that children and adults still do not choose enough fruits and vegetables for better health and reduced obesity.
The State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2009 offers unprecedented state-specific figures based on behavioral, policy, and environmental indicators listed in Healthy People 2010, an outline of national health goals prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. One goal was that by 2010, 75 percent of people would eat at least two servings of fruit daily and 50 percent would eat at least three vegetables daily. According to the state indicator report, less than 10 percent of high school students consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables daily, and only 14 percent of the adults eat the recommended amount, according to data collected in 2007.
In recent years, this issue has been highlighted by a number of Institute of Medicine reports. Food Marketing to Children and Youth, released in 2005, states that because dietary preferences and eating patterns form early in life and set the stage for an individual's long-term health prospects, significant changes are needed to reshape children's awareness of healthy dietary choices. In fact, the CDC's report recognizes another Institute of Medicine report, Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools: Leading the Way Toward Healthier Youth, which states that food sold outside of the school meals programs, such as in vending machines and snack bars, should conform to nutritional standards based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. If the amount of unhealthy foods being offered at school is reduced, then children are more likely to make healthier choices.
A workshop, "Public Health Effects of Food Deserts," was also held to address rural or urban low-income neighborhoods or communities with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity was released this fall and recommended what could be done at the local level to combat obesity among children. The Institute of Medicine just released a report, School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children, that proposes updates to the meal requirements for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.Additional Resources