Local News

CDC to N.C. residents: Eat your fruits and veggies

Posted October 7, 2009 1:21 p.m. EDT
Updated October 7, 2009 1:29 p.m. EDT

— A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that North Carolinians aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables.

According to the State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 25 percent of North Carolina adults meet the recommendation of at least two servings of fruit a day, compared with 33 percent nationwide. Thirty percent of adults statewide meet the vegetable recommendation of at least three servings daily, compared with 27 percent in the U.S.

Among high school students, a quarter in North Carolina report eating at least two fruits daily, compared with nearly a third nationally, and fewer than 10 percent say they eat at least three vegetables each day, compared with 13 percent nationally.

“A diet high in fruits and vegetables is important for children to grow properly, for everyone to manage their weight and to prevent chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers that currently contribute to poor health outcomes in North Carolina,” Dr. Jeff Engel, state health director, said in a statement.

The CDC report encourages changes in three key areas: make healthier food more available in supermarkets, grocery stores, and markets; make healthier food available in schools and increase awareness among students through Farm-to-School and other programs; and improve food systems to get fruits and vegetables from local farms to consumers.

The North Carolina Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council, which was created in August through a new state law, will address programs and policies to develop and sustain a local food economy.

North Carolina also is working with 24 other states and the CDC to reduce obesity and other chronic diseases by helping Americans be more active and consume healthier diets.

“The good news is that the tools in this CDC report will help North Carolina officials, business leaders, coalitions and community-based organizations better determine what is taking place in communities and schools across the state and then to identify policies that can be put in place or improved to promote healthy eating among our residents,” Engel said.