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Ask the Expert Archive

Press Release

June 6, 2012


Kristen Stevens, COO
Produce for Better Health Foundation
7465 Lancaster Pike
Suite J, 2nd Floor
Hockessin, DE 19707
Fax: 302-235-5555

Fruits And Vegetables Included In Plan To Improve Our Nation's Health

Produce for Better Health Foundation Lends Support

Hockessin, Del. - Yesterday a bipartisan group of former cabinet secretaries released a comprehensive and actionable plan to improve America’s physical and fiscal crises, driven by the alarming rates of obesity and chronic disease such as Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.  The report, entitled, Lots to Lose:  How America’s Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future, from the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative, calls on the public and private sectors to collaborate in creating healthy families, schools, workplaces and communities, focusing on existing best practices that can be implemented on a large scale to broaden their impact and help scale back obesity in the United States.

The co-chairs recognized that given America’s limited federal resources, any effective plan to reduce obesity and health care costs will need to engage private and public sector partners.  Former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman said, “There is no silver bullet.  But we have identified numerous steps that show what is possible.  We must all take action to beat this threat.  America cannot afford for the obesity crisis to go unnoticed any longer.”  

Several of the strategies targeted areas that would help increase consumption of fruits and vegetables as a sustainable way to combat obesity and related health-care costs.  One recommended strategy is a generic fruit and vegetable promotion program, paid for out of an expanded specialty crop block grant program, to establish a national pool of funding to promote specialty crop market promotion and nutrition education, modeled after the Fruits & Veggies--More Matters campaign.  Other strategies included nutrition training in medical education; developing new dietary guidelines for a child’s first thousand days, covering pregnant women and children up to two years old; and developing a database of exemplary workplace wellness programs with cost/benefit analysis to help scale up best practices.  At the request of the co-chairs of the report, Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), provided them with data and information such as the National Action Plan report card.  Led by PBH in 2010, the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance issued a report card on progress made on strategies outlined in the 2005 National Action Plan.

“The report is full of solid bi-partisan-supported strategies, that if implemented, would result in a significant decline in obesity, other chronic diet related diseases, and related health-care costs,” says Pivonka.  “PBH welcomes any strategies, ideas, and support to increase the consumption of fresh, frozen, canned, dried fruits and vegetables as well as 100% juice in America.  We’ve longed believed, and will continue to believe, that the promotion of all forms of fruits and vegetables would make huge strides in the overall effort to promote health through greater fruit and vegetable consumption.”



About Produce for Better Health Foundation
Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) fruit and vegetable education foundation.  Since 1991, PBH works to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health.  PBH achieves success through industry and government collaboration, first with the 5 A Day program and now with the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters public health initiative.  Fruits & Veggies—More Matters is the nation’s largest public-private, fruit and vegetable nutrition education initiative with Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Coordinators in each state, territory and the military. To learn more, visit and Follow Fruits & Veggies—More Matters on Facebook or Twitter.

PBH is also a member and co-chair with Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) of the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance (NFVA), consisting of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and industry working to collaboratively and synergistically achieve increased nationwide access and demand for all forms of fruits and vegetables for improved public health.  To learn more, visit

The Expert: Dr. Elizabeth Pivonka, a mother of two and a registered dietitian, shares years of experience in getting people to eat more fruits and veggies.Read Her Full Bio

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