April 10, 2014
Concord, NH – We have all heard since childhood the admonishment to "eat your fruits and vegetables," but apparently the message still is not getting through. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) entitled State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables 2013 doesn’t paint a very healthy picture for New Hampshire, or the nation.
On average in the U.S., adults consume 1.6 servings of vegetables per day but the recommendation is for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. In New Hampshire, the average adult consumes at least 1.8 servings per day, which is on the high end for the country. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps reduce the risk of cancer and chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential nutrients and vitamins, fiber, and other substances important for good health. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.
"As more is learned about nutrition and its effect on our overall health the more important the consumption of fruits and vegetables becomes as part of a healthy diet," said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). "I am pleased to see that our State is on the high end of fruits and vegetables consumption, but we can and should do better for ourselves and our families and New Hampshire."
According to the report, in 2013 30.3% of adults and 36.8% of adolescents in New Hampshire reported eating fruits less than once a day, and 17.6% of adults and 31.8% of adolescents reported eating vegetables less than once a day. However, New Hampshire has fewer healthier food retailers compared with the national average.
DHHS has been working with the NH Kids Count Coalition so that children and their families can access affordable, nutritious food, including fresh fruits and vegetables in their local communities. A great goal is for adults to support local farmers markets and other access points for fresh fruits and vegetables. It is not only good for your health but for the local economy as well. To see a list of more than 70 farmers markets in New Hampshire, visit the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture Markets and Food the list should be updated shortly for 2014.
This data brief on fruits and vegetables consumption is one of the topics DHHS is focusing on in recognition of National Public Health Week, April 7–11 (#nphw #nhphw). To learn more, visit the DHHS website at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/index.htm For more information on NPHW visit www.nphw.org.