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J Nutr. 2001 Feb;131(2S-1):487S-501S.

Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily: understanding the complexities.

Author information

  • 1Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892-7344, USA. sk52r@nih.gov

Abstract

The 2000 edition of Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans is the first to include a recommendation aimed specifically at fruits and vegetables, apart from grains. This paper discusses these changes in the Dietary Guidelines, summarizes the methods of assessment pertaining to fruit and vegetable intakes and their related factors, and reviews the data available on current levels and trends over time. Recent methodological advances in the measurement of both the aggregate U.S. food supply and foods consumed by individuals have allowed for better estimates with which recommendations can be compared. The data on individual intakes suggest the following: Americans are consuming fruits and vegetables at a level near the minimum recommendations; to be in concordance with energy-based recommendations, they would have to consume approximately 2 more servings per day; and dark green and deep yellow vegetables are accounting for a disproportionately small share of the total. Fruit and vegetable consumption appears to be rising, but only slightly, and this increase might be only an artifact of shifts in the population demographics. A number of studies suggest that low income households in poor central cities and sparsely populated rural areas often have less access to food stores and face higher prices for food, including fruits and vegetables, compared with other households. At the aggregate level, supplying enough fruits and vegetables to meet dietary recommendations for all U.S. consumers would require adjustments in U.S. agricultural production, trade, marketing practices and prices of these commodities.

PMID:
11160580
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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