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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. 


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