Vital Signs: Fruit and Vegetable Intake among Children — United States, 2003–2010
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, recommends that Americans aged ≥2 years eat more fruits and vegetables to add important nutrients that are under consumed, reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, and help manage weight (1). Most U.S. residents, including children, consume too few fruits and vegetables. In 2007–2010, 60% of children aged 1–18 years did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Patterns fruit intake recommendations, and 93% did not meet vegetable recommendations (2). Because of the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables and because childhood dietary patterns are associated with food patterns later in life (3), encouraging children to eat more fruits and vegetables is a public health priority.
Total fruit intake among children increased from 0.55 CEPC in 2003–2004 to 0.62 in 2009–2010 because of significant increases in whole fruit intake (0.24 to 0.40 CEPC). Over this period, fruit juice intake significantly decreased (0.31 to 0.22 CEPC). Total vegetable intake did not change (0.54 to 0.53 CEPC). No socio-demographic group met the Healthy People 2020 target of 1.1 CEPC vegetables, and only children aged 2–5 years met the target of 0.9 CEPC fruits. Vegetable intake is not changed, and a significant portion of intake continues to be white potatoes-primarily fried and chips. Fruit and vegetable intakes remain below recommended levels.
Source; Center for Disease Control and Prevention