Few Americans eat enough fruits or veggies

Filed under: Babies, Toddlers Preschoolers, Teens, Nutrition: Health, Development/Milestones: Babies

An article reviewed on HealthDay News today suggested that despite the known health benefits of fruits and vegetables, too few Americans are eating the recommended amounts of these foods, a new study finds. Teenage boys are the worst offenders, with less than 1% of them getting the recommended intake. Children aged 2 to 3 do best, with 48% getting the recommended amount. But just 17 percent of women aged 51 to 70 meet the goal, and among other age groups, nearly 90 percent are falling short. The authors examined at how many Americans ate enough fruits and vegetables under the previous recommendation -- five servings a day -- and how many were doing so under new guidelines released in 2005. The new guidelines -- part of the USDA's MyPyramid program -- recommend eating two to six-and-a-half cups of fruits and vegetables a day, depending on your age and gender. The study analyzed used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III from 1999 to 2000, and included complete data on 8,070 people, ages 2 and up. When the researchers applied the previous five-a-day recommendations, only 40% of people met the mark.

The results of the study are not that surprising, but it is nice to know that children do best at eating fruits and vegetables. However, there is a downside to the data: fewer than 50% of them are doing so. That should be a cause of concern to many of us as parents. To figure out how many cups of fruits and vegetables you should be eating, the authors suggest you should visit MyPyramid.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.