food for thought

When it comes to healthy eating, Vermont is apparently a leader in the country.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released last week says Vermont adults are doing a decent job of eating their daily fruit and vegetable needs.

Out of a sample of some 5,000 respondents, 15.3% of Vermont respondents said they ate enough fruit; 16.1% reported eating enough vegetables.

People in Vermont tend to be healthier. Probably part of it is surrounded by working landscape and many local farms and vendors. Likewise, we also have a higher than average number of citizens who exercise and use the many advantages of the state to our advantage.

It pays off. Last year, for the fourth year in a row, Vermont was named the healthiest state in the nation by the United Health Foundation. The state has steadily risen over the past 20+ years in the US group health rankings, rising from 20th place in 1990 to first place.

Yet what the CDC has found is that the percentage of American adults meeting fruit and vegetable consumption recommendations is low.

And although the Vermont one was better than most, we could have used a few more servings.

According to the CDC, nationally in 2019, 12.3% and 10% of the 294,566 adults surveyed met the recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption, respectively. Adherence to fruit consumption recommendations was highest among Hispanic adults (16.4%) and lowest among men (10.1%). Adherence to vegetable consumption recommendations was highest among adults over 51 (12.5%) and lowest among low-income adults (6.8%).

According to the report, “States can use this information to tailor efforts to high-risk populations (for example, men, young adults, and low-income adults) and to implement interventions, policies, and programs.” that help people increase their fruit and vegetable intake. consumption to support immune function and prevent chronic disease.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise incorporating more fruits and vegetables into the diets of US residents as part of healthy diets. Adults should consume 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily.

According to the report, a healthy diet: supports healthy immune function; helps prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers; having some of these conditions can predispose people to more severe illness and death from COVID-19.

The CDC used the most recent data from the 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate the percentage of the states’ adult population that met admissions recommendations.

Overall, 12.3% of adults met fruit recommendations, ranging from 8.4% in West Virginia to 16.1% in Connecticut, and 10% met vegetable recommendations, ranging from 5.6% in Kentucky to 16% in Vermont.

In 2019, the median frequency of fruit consumption reported was once a day. The median frequency of vegetable consumption reported was 1.6 times per day, ranging from 1.5 times per day in Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and New Mexico to 1.9 times per day in Maine and New Mexico. Vermont.

Even the CDC is wagging its finger.

The report says that while there may be legitimate reasons not to eat more (and better), we need to eat more and better as a nation.

“For some people, these barriers may have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to economic and supply chain disruptions that may further limit the ability to access healthier foods,” the report says. report.

The report recommends that states and communities take bolder steps to support food policy councils (community coalitions often supporting a specific community, such as households with incomes below the federal poverty line or people from racial and ethnic minority groups) to build a more sustainable food system. ; support community retail programs to attract grocery stores and supermarkets to underserved communities to improve the quality of community foods; and increasing access to healthy foods by encouraging participation in federal nutrition assistance programs.

Vermont has a solid system in place, but it can be improved.

We can tap into many local products available at markets and grower stands. There is of course the added benefit of supporting your friends, neighbors and community by shopping from these local sources. For some with the weather, the inclination and the earth, there is even the possibility of turning to our own gardens or to fruit trees and berry bushes during those warmer months that many of us may be waiting for. be already currently.

Food for thought. Now go eat an apple or a carrot.

— Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus, January 11

About Cassondra Durden

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