Few Follow '5 a Day' Fruit and Vegetable Rule
At Least 5 Servings of Fruits and Veggies a Day Needed for Maximum Health Benefits
Aug. 24, 2004 -- Most Americans still aren't eating enough fruits and
vegetables, despite the highly publicized "five a day" recommendations,
a new survey shows.
In fact, the survey shows most Americans aren't sure how many servings per
day of fruits and vegetables they need for a healthy diet. Most major health
organizations recommend eating five or more servings per day of fruits and
vegetables to reap the maximum health benefits.
But researchers found 46% of Americans say they typically eat only one or
two servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and another 37% eat three to
four servings per day. A mere 12% of Americans said they eat the recommended
five or more servings per day.
Fruits and Veggies Ignored
The survey showed that only about 40% of Americans recognized the need to
eat five or more servings per day of fruits and vegetables, and a fifth said
eating only one to two servings a day was fine.
Other findings include:
- Nearly half of households with small children aged 2-11 say the children
eat only one to two servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
- Most parents encourage their children to eat fruits and vegetables at
meals, but only 17% serve fruits and vegetables as snacks.
- Nearly three-fourths of adults say they would like to eat more fruits and
vegetables as snacks.
- More than half of Americans say better prices may encourage them to eat
more fruits and vegetables.
The survey of more than 3,000 households nationwide was conducted in
February by A. C. Nielsen and commissioned by the Produce for Better Health