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Few adults eat recommended amount of fruits, vegetables

Jun 30, 2017

DATA SUMMARYDATA TABLES

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who eat a healthy diet with generous amounts of fruits and vegetables have a reduced risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.1 The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020,2 a joint project of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS), recommends that each meal include half a plate of fruits and vegetables. That means adults would eat at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables per day.

2 in 10 adults in region meet recommendations

The 2017 Community Health Status Survey (CHSS) found that 2 in 10 Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky adults (23%) eat the recommended daily amount of both fruits and vegetables. That’s about half the percentage of adults who do not eat the recommended amount of either fruits or vegetables (42%).

The percentage of adults eating the recommended amount of both fruits and vegetables rose slightly from 2013 (18%) but is similar to 2010 (22%). Adults are more likely to eat the recommended daily amount of fruits (25%) than vegetables (11%).

Some groups more likely to eat fruits, vegetables

Fruit and vegetable consumption varies by income, race and sex. Adults who earn more than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG)3 (26%) are more likely than adults who earn 200% FPG or less (18%) to report eating the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables. Likewise, African American adults (26%) are more likely than White adults (22%), and women (27%) are more likely than men (18%) to report this.

8 in 10 have healthy food in their neighborhoods

To eat a healthy diet, it is crucial that people can buy healthy food such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat items without having to travel far. A large majority of the region’s adults (80%) report that it is easy to buy healthy foods in their neighborhood. This is similar to 2013 (81%).

However, easy access to healthy food varies by region. Adults living in Hamilton County’s suburbs (85%) and Butler, Warren and Clinton counties (89%) are more likely than adults living in the City of Cincinnati (65%) and rural counties in Kentucky4 (66%), Ohio5 (75%) and Indiana6 (73%) to report that it is easy to buy healthy foods in their neighborhood.

Access to healthy food also varies by income and race. More than 8 in 10 adults (85%) earning more than 200% FPG report that it is easy to buy healthy foods in their neighborhood. That compares with more than 7 in 10 adults (74%) living between 100% and 200% FPG and fewer than 7 in 10 adults (69%) earning 100% FPG or less. Similarly, slightly more than 6 in 10 African American adults (64%) report that it is easy to buy healthy food in their neighborhood, compared with more than 8 in 10 White adults (82%).


1 For more information about the benefits of fruits and vegetables, visit www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/cdc-resources/.

2 For more information about the dietary guidelines, please visit https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.

3 In 2015, 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines was $24,250 for a family of four; 200% FPG was $48,500.

4 Bracken, Carroll, Gallatin, Owen and Pendleton counties.

5 Adams, Brown, Clermont and Highland counties.

6 Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland counties.

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