Only 1 in 10 Adults Get Enough Fruits or Vegetables
Men, younger adults, and people living in poverty get the fewest
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. Despite these positive health benefits, few adults meet the recommendations
In a recent MMWR article, CDC researchers analyzed data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and found that the number of adults eating enough fruits and vegetables in 2015 remained very low. Only, 9 percent of adults met the intake recommendations for vegetables and 12 percent of adults met the recommendations for fruit. Results showed that consumption was lower among men, young adults, and adults living in poverty.
The study also found variations by state. For example, adults meeting fruit or vegetable recommendations ranged from 6 percent in West Virginia to 16 percent in Washington DC.
Overall there were no significant differences between different race/ethnicity groups for meeting the vegetable recommendations. However, in ten states a significantly higher percentage of Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks met recommendations for fruit intake than did non-Hispanic whites.
|Adults Meeting Recommendations, 2015|
Continued efforts are needed to identify and address barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption. Previous studies have found that high cost, limited availability and access, and perceived lack of cooking/preparation time can be barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption.
The CDC Guide to Strategies to Increase the Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables [PDF-2.06MB] suggests 10 strategies to increase access to fruits and vegetables, including these:
- Start or expand farm-to-institution programs in childcare, schools, hospitals, workplaces, and other institutions.
- Improve access to retail stores and markets that sell high quality fruits and vegetables.
- Ensure access to fruits and vegetables in cafeterias and other food service venues in worksites, hospitals, and universities.
Time and money don’t have to be barriers to eating well. Visit USDA’s ChooseMyPlate to learn more about the small steps you can take to add more color to your plate.
How much is enough?
The federal fruit and vegetable recommendations vary by age and sex:
Adult women need at least 1½ cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables each day
Adult men need at least 2 cups of fruit and 3½ cups of vegetables each day.
Learn more: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/
Add more color to your plate!
- Save time and money by chopping extra fruit or vegetables at one time and freezing the extra.
- Choose frozen or canned fruits and vegetables at the store.
- Most adults get their fruit at breakfast. Add more fruit to your diet by grabbing a small apple or banana as your afternoon snack.
- Dinner time is when most adults eat their vegetables. Get more veggies in your diet by adding them to your lunch time sandwich, or packing carrot sticks or grape tomatoes as a snack.
- Learn how to put your best fork forward and add more fruit and vegetables to your diet.
- For more tips on convenient and affordable ways to eat a healthy diet, please visit choosemyplate.gov.
Share the news on social media
- Are you getting enough fruit and veggies? 2015 data from @CDCObesity and @CDCMMWR shows just 1 in 10 adults get enough.
- What can be done to make sure adults eat enough fruits and veggies? Check out @CDCObesity strategies.
- #NewData from #MMWR: US adults still not eating enough fruits and veggies. Men, young adults, + people in poverty get less than peers.
- Press Release: Only 1 in 10 Adults Get Enough Fruits or Vegetables
- MMWR Disparities in State-Specific Adult Fruit and Vegetable Consumption — United States, 2015
- CDC’s Strategies to Prevent and Manage Obesity: Healthy Food Environments
- Vital Signs: Home| August 2014 Vital Signs | Factsheet [PDF-16.9MB] | Issues
- Page last reviewed: November 24, 2017
- Page last updated: November 24, 2017
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