Booster Shots

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With fruit and vegetables, Americans finally discover a limit to their appetites

September 30, 2009 | 10:02 am


Persuading Americans to consume at least three servings of vegetables a day and at least two servings of fruit would seem a modest goal. (For obligatory obesity statistics, click here.) Apparently it isn't.

Only 32.8% of adults consume two or more servings of fruit a day. Only 27.4% consume three or more servings of vegetables a day. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's first state-by-state look at fruit and vegetable consumption. (In California, those numbers are 40.6% and 25.6%, respectively.)

You don't want to know the stats for adolescents.

The overview, plus the breakdown in number form and in map form.

(Tennessee is a bright spot when it comes to vegetable consumption -- the lone state in which at least 35% of adults consumed three or more per day.) 

The report offers up ways to improve these numbers -- focusing on supermarket and store offerings; school influence; and the overall systems that get food to consumers. But access is only part of the problem -- as the diet of a friend or loved one might suggest. Yours, of course, is probably fine.

The press release states: "The Healthy People 2010 objectives aim for at least 75 percent of Americans to eat the recommended two or more daily servings of fruit, and for at least 50 percent of Americans to eat the recommended three or more servings of vegetables daily."

By 2010? I don't think we're going to make it.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: Beans? Lettuce? They're not that scary. Credit: Los Angeles Times