An overwhelming majority of Americans are skimping on their vegetables, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The US dietary guidelines recommend eating one and a half to two cups of vegetables per day. A dismal 9 percent of Americans are even claiming to meet that mark. That means at least 290 million residents are completely missing the mark.
They aren't doing much better with fruit either, with only 12 percent of Americans eating one and a half to two servings per day.
Come on, America. All it takes is some blueberry pancakes and a banana! Even a delicious, fruity baked good would count. But even that's asking too much.
This isn't the first time this concern has been raised. Professor of nutrition and food studies Marion Nestle told the Guardian that this study simply confirms "years of data" and is nothing new.
"This report highlights that very few Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, putting them at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease," said lead study author Dr. Seung Hee Lee Kwan. "As a result, we're missing out on the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that fruits and vegetables provide."
The rates of fruit and vegetable intake were lowest in poverty-stricken regions, such as small towns in West Virginia and South Dakota. In South Dakota, just 2.2 percent of residents aged 18 to 30 years old ate the recommended serving of vegetables.
Certain demographics also ate more fruits and vegetables than others. Men, for example, ate fewer vegetables overall than women. We wonder if they'd start if they knew men who eat more vegetables don't smell as bad when they sweat.
Getting your vegetables doesn't have to be that complicated, though many Americans don't know how. These 50 recipes, for example, are packed with nutritious leafy greens.