What percentage of Americans are aware that they should eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day?
Research conducted by ACNielsen for Produce for Better Health Foundation in 2004 indicated that about 42% of respondents reported that the recommendation for fruits and vegetables was 5-6 servings per day. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) also conducted a survey of about 1000 individuals in 2004. Their results indicated that 40% of the sample said they should eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. At that time, the recommendations for intake were 7 or more servings per day for women, and 9 or more servings per day for men. In the NCI survey, only 4% of men said they should eat 9 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day and 10 percent of women said they should eat 7 or more servings a day.
Current dietary recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake are in the range of 4 to 13 servings per day, depending on age and activity level. Recommendations for most moderately active adult women will generally be 7- 9 servings per day, and for most moderately active men, recommendations are generally around 9-10 servings per day. We do not have data about awareness of these current recommendations. However, we know that awareness of quantity doesn’t necessarily translate into behavior and that a more motivating message is needed to change behavior. Our new health initiative Fruits & Veggies – More Matters™ should encourage consumption of ‘more’ fruits and vegetables by providing easy steps to eat more.