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(article, Ashley Griffin Gartland)
We’ve been hearing it since we were little kids, but we still don’t listen; the refrain of “Eat your fruits and veggies” falls on stopped ears. So it's no surprise that, according to two new studies, American adults still can’t manage to eat the minimum recommended daily servings of fruit and vegetables. In the first study, conducted at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, researchers evaluated data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys taken between 1988 and 2002. Despite increased marketing and educational efforts to promote fruits and veggies, they found that consumption didn’t increase over time. Only 11 percent of U.S. adults met guidelines for both fruits and vegetables, and there was even a small decrease in vegetable intake over the time period. In the second report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that only 32.6 percent of American adults eat fruit at least two times a day, and only 27.2 percent eat vegetables three times a day. In response, the CDC and Produce for Better Health Foundation are introducing “Fruit and Veggies: More Matters,” a health initiative designed to reverse this trend by promoting fruit and vegetable consumption. Of course, it’s confusing to figure out what, exactly, a “serving” is (it’s generally about a half-cup), and if you’re getting the amounts you need. So forget measurements and just try to find whole, preferably fresh, produce that whets your taste buds.