July 13, 2015

Skimping on the Fruits and Vegetables

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Vegetables Images

The latest measure of Oklahomans’ commitment to healthy living is in, and the news isn’t good.

The state ranks second lowest in the nation in consumption of the recommended daily amount of vegetables and third lowest in consumption of fruits. That’s according to figures released Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on a 2013 survey of adults aged 18 and older.

Eating more fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers and helps manage body weight, the CDC said in a news release. Depending on age, activity level and sex, adults should eat 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables. (Read  below about what Oklahoma is doing to address the problem .)


Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables

Oklahoma is close to the bottom of the pack in consumption of the recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables. Click on a column heading to re-order the table. Search by state.
State or AreaNo. of RespondentsFruit: Median Times Consumed DailyVegetables: Median Times Consumed Daily% Meeting Fruit Recommendations% Meeting Vegetabl;e Recommendations
Overall373,58011.713.18.9
Alabama4,61311.69.57.1
Alaska3,82511.813.510.5
Arizona3,26911.612.59.8
Arkansas3,9140.91.59.47.5
California9,0111.31.917.713
Colorado10,5831.11.814.110.1
Connecticut5,9561.11.614.88.7
Delaware4,01511.512.87.5
District of Columbia3,7191.11.815.29.2
Florida25,9021.11.714.89.6
Georgia5,99311.611.78.1
Hawaii6,54911.712.410.2
Idaho4,51811.712.38.9
Illinois5,0161.11.614.68.7
Indiana7,82111.511.47.3
Iowa6,50011.511.36.6
Kansas18,53511.610.48.3
Kentucky6,95911.69.57.1
Louisiana3,83911.49.86.9
Maine6,6971.11.814.59.6
Maryland9,8171.11.713.28.4
Massachusetts11,2951.11.714.29.4
Michigan10,26311.612.77.7
Minnesota11,49111.612.57.9
Mississippi5,56711.49.95.5
Missouri5,43511.610.57.8
Montana8,02311.712.29.2
Nebraska14,00411.612.38.3
Nevada3,95711.71410.3
New Hampshire5,0401.11.714.89.9
New Jersey9,8121.11.713.48.3
New Mexico7,32611.712.110
New York6,7961.11.715.58.8
North Carolina6,39611.710.37.2
North Dakota6,20611.411.46.4
Ohio9,28511.511.37.1
Oklahoma6,59411.58.25.8
Oregon4,5561.11.914.511
Pennsylvania8,75611.612.77.5
Rhode Island4,8781.11.713.98.7
South Carolina8,22411.611.66.8
South Dakota5,39811.610.36.8
Tennessee3,52211.67.56.2
Texas7,92511.7118.4
Utah10,1671.11.713.89.4
Vermont5,1361.11.814.510.8
Virginia6,5711.11.713.48.8
Washington9,08411.812.39.9
West Virginia4,62911.67.76.6
Wisconsin5,2121.11.512.77.5
Wyoming4,98111.711.99.4

Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


John Friedl, physicial and activity nutrition manager at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, said a lot of Oklahoma’s problem with nutritional diet “ stems from the availability, affordability and accessibility of fruits and vegetables.”

Friedl says eating fruit and vegetables is perceived as not being convenient. The department is working on several initiatives to make healthful food more available and affordable and to educate the public.

The CDC just awarded the state Health Department a grant aimed at increasing availability of nutritional food and reducing obesity and heart disease in nine counties, mostly in east and southeast Oklahoma.