No state has yet met the Healthy People 2010 goals, Foltz said. In fact only one state, Idaho, rose in the amount of fruits and vegetables ate while 10 states saw a decrease in fruit and vegetable consumption.
The 10 states where significant decreases in fruit and vegetable consumption were seen are Arizona, Kansas, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia, according to the report.
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables is an important part of keeping your weight under control and reducing the risk of heart disease, some cancers, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases and diabetes, the authors say.
Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St Louis, said that "as a registered dietitian I hear three main reasons as to why meeting recommended intake is so difficult."
These include accessibility of fresh produce and failure to recognize nutritional values of frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. Also, the time involved in preparing fresh vegetables and inconvenience of carrying fruits or vegetables for those needed fast snacks or meals, she said.
"Another factor that seems to impact purchasing fresh produce that is not clear in this report is the cost of fresh produce," Diekman said. "With economic changes the last several years, the slight differences in consumption based on household income might be an important factor for health-care providers to address."
Another expert, Samantha Heller, a dietitian, nutritionist, exercise physiologist and clinical nutrition coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn., said that "it is common knowledge that fruits and vegetables are good for us."
Unfortunately it appears that less healthy foods are taking the place of vegetables and fruit in the diet of most Americans, she said.
"It is easy to f
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