Percentage of Adolescents Meeting Federal Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations — Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, United States, 2017
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Percentage of Adolescents Meeting Federal Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations — Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, United States, 2017

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    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, persons should consume fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy eating pattern to reduce their risk for diet-related chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity.* A healthy diet is important for healthy growth in adolescence, especially because adolescent health behaviors might continue into adulthood (1). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends minimum daily intake of 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables for females aged 14-18 years and 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables for males aged 14-18 years.| Despite the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption, few adolescents consume these recommended amounts (2-4). In 2013, only 8.5% of high school students met the recommendation for fruit consumption, and only 2.1% met the recommendation for vegetable consumption (2). To update the 2013 data, CDC analyzed data from the 2017 national and state Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBSs) to describe the percentage of students who met intake recommendations, overall and by sex, school grade, and race/ethnicity. The median frequencies of fruit and vegetable consumption nationally were 0.9 and 1.1 times per day, respectively. Nationally, 7.1% of students met USDA intake recommendations for fruits (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.0-10.3) and 2.0% for vegetables (upper 95% confidence limit = 7.9) using previously established scoring algorithms. State-specific estimates of the percentage of students meeting fruit intake recommendations ranged from 4.0% (Connecticut) to 9.3% (Louisiana), and the percentage meeting vegetable intake recommendations ranged from 0.6% (Kansas) to 3.7% (New Mexico). Additional efforts to expand the reach of existing school and community programs or to identify new effective strategies, such as social media approaches, might help address barriers and improve adolescent fruit and vegetable consumption.
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