Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

May 15, 2000 -- Americans still aren't eating their veggies despite all the efforts of health gurus like Dean Ornish, MD, the National Cancer Institute, and others who have tried to convince them that giving up a burger and fries is worth it, according to the CDC's latest "snapshot" study of Americans' eating habits.

But eating lots of fruit and vegetables has many proven benefits. "When you eat right, you have more energy, your sexual function improves, you think more clearly," says Ornish, who is clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a founder of its Center for Integrative Medicine.

The CDC study shows that health gurus like Ornish have mostly been preaching to the choir when advocating fruit and veggie benefits.

Only health-conscious adults -- and especially women -- have gotten the message, the CDC study says. Overweight and African-American people actually ate less of the good stuff during past years, says Ruowei Li, MD, MPH, an epidemiologist in the CDC's nutrition and physical activity division. Results from her nationwide survey were published in this month's American Journal of Public Health.

"Discouraging," Li tells WebMD. The survey, which reflects Americans' eating habits between 1990 and 1996, shows that 23% of adults in the surveyed states were eating fruits and veggies five times a day, up from 19% in 1990. Most were over age 65, and were white, college-educated, physically active, and nonsmokers. Also, most were women. There was a 5% increase in the number of women downing the good stuff. Men made a slightly more modest gain -- only 4%.

Inactive men and women did not change their eating habits at all -- still eating far less on average than recommended amounts of the good stuff.

The NCI's nationwide "5-A-Day" campaign was launched 10 years ago to preach a very important lesson, Li says. "So many studies have demonstrated that fruits and vegetables help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. It's very well documented. So there's no doubt that it's a healthy food choice."

In her study, Li outlines the CDC's telephone survey conducted in 1996, which focused on adults in 16 states. More than 32,000 people were asked six questions:

  1. How often do you drink fruit juices, such as orange, grapefruit, or tomato?
  2. Not counting juice, how often do you eat fruit?
  3. How often do you eat green salad?
  4. How often do you eat potatoes, not including French fries, fried potatoes, or potato chips?
  5. How often do you eat carrots?
  6. Not counting carrots, potatoes, or salad, how many servings of vegetables do you usually eat?

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Healthy Recipe Finder