In the US, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new study summarising data for fruit and vegetable consumption by state and discussing policies and environmental supports to promote greater fresh produce intake.
The 'State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables 2009' showed that all states in the US fall short of national objectives for the consumption of fresh produce, which aim for 75 per cent of Americans to eat at least 2 servings of fruit each day, and for 50 per cent to eat at least 3 servings of vegetables per day.
Across the US, the survey found that 33 per cent of adults were meeting the recommendations for fruit and 27 per cent for vegetables. Additionally, only 9.5 per cent of children consume at least 2 servings of fruit and at least 3 servings of vegetables each day.
"A diet high in fruit and vegetables is important for optimal growth in children, weight management and the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers," said Elizabeth Pivonka, president and CEO of the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH). "The State Indicator report clearly shows that, while some areas are doing a better job of encouraging and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, policies need to be implemented or improved to promote healthy eating to both adults and children."
While all states are well below recommendations, those at the top of the list of states with people consuming their full daily amount of fruit and vegetables are the District of Columbia (20.1 per cent), Vermont (17.9 per cent), Maine (17.7 per cent), Hawaii (17.5 per cent) and New York (16.5 per cent).
"Eating a diet that includes a colourful variety of fruit and vegetables provides a wide range of valuable nutrients important to health. Based on this state-by-state data, every single state has a great deal of room for improvement," Ms Pivonka said. "When you remember that all product forms count – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 per cent fruit and vegetable juice – it really is easy to add more fruit and vegetables throughout the day."
Meanwhile, PBH has announced that it is to formally recognise three companies for their roles in the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters campaign next year.
Chelan Fresh Marketing, Rainier Fruit Company and Welch's will be officially named as Fruits & Veggies-More Matter Role Models at the PBH Board of Trustees meeting in California, which is to take place on 10 April 2010.
"These three companies have been long-term supporters of PBH and exhibited a true commitment to the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters public health initiative in several ways," said Ms Pivonka. "We appreciate the efforts made by all of our donors to spread the word that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is important.
"Chelan Fresh Marketing, Rainier Fruit Company and Welch's have exhibited role model attributes by going above and beyond in their support of the campaign," she added. "Their efforts are thoroughly appreciated."