Saying that Americans aren’t eating enough fruit and vegetables is actually an understatement, because when the CDC says that 85% of them are not eating right, there is cause for an intervention.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently conducted a study in order to see just how many Americans are eating their greens on a regular basis. They were obviously expecting to find a problem in their dietary patterns, but they were extremely shocked to find that as many as 85% were not even close to the right nutritional standard.
Lead author Latetia V. Moore and her teem utilized the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey from 2013 to look at the nation wide situation. The survey was aimed at a homogenous target group and it did not include people who get a regular meal from a canteen-like facility, such as prison inmates, people who are confined to hospitals and retirement homes or people whose meals are supplied from workplaces, because the researchers were interested to see what happens when people are fairly free to chose their own meals.
And so, upon centralizing the results, the study revealed a pretty bleak nationwide situation, as only 15 % are actually eating enough fruit and vegetables on a regular basis. And this was only the mean quota, because there are some states where the level is much lower, such as Tennessee that appeared to have the lowest rates in the country, with only 7%. The best situation was found in California, where as many as 17,7% are including enough fruit and veggies in their meals.
“Fruits and vegetables (…) can protect against many leading causes of illness and death like heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Eating [these] in place of foods that are high in calories, added sugars, and solid fat can also help with weight management.” says Latetia V. Moore.
There are numerous factors that have led to the present situation, ranging from education to an widely spread unresolvable financial state, that dictates what people can afford to eat and what they cannot. People are eating too many carbs, too much sugar and too much meat, because these are the most accessible options available, both regarding price and food options.
Meat is included in the vast majority of food options available on the market, and this has led people to eat it out of habit, rather than necessity or even because they particularly feel like eating it. However, considering the size of the meat industry, this is a situation that will not be changing anytime soon. Then there is the abundance of carbs and sugar, that are found in everything from bagels and Danishes to sugary sodas and candy, that are all still very popular among Americans.
The results presented by the CDC should bring about a serious wake-up call for both the authorities and the population, because if things are left as they are, the fruit and vegetables consumption rate will keep going on this decrease pattern. This will have significant consequences on the health of Americans and therefore it is clearly worth looking into.
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