Fruit, Vegetable Consumption Declines Post-Preschool
(HealthDay News) — More than three-quarters of U.S. children eat fruit on any given day, and nearly 92% dig into vegetables in a 24-hour period, a new U.S. health survey reveals. But consumption of fruits and vegetables declines as children move from preschool to high school, according to the survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For this report, the researchers used data on children ages 2–19 from the 2009–10 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which asked what people ate over 24 hours.
Ninety percent of children aged 2–5 years old ate fruit on any given day, while only six of 10 teens did, according to a July data brief published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Younger children also ate more vegetables on a given day than teens, the survey found. More than 93% of children 2–11 ate vegetables on a given day, while vegetable eating declined to 90% among children 12–19 years old. And French fries were included in that tally.
Whether children's vegetable and fruit consumption meets the Dietary Guidelines for Americans wasn't addressed in the report, study researcher Samara Joy Nielsen, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist with the NCHS, told HealthDay. "We weren't looking at how much was being consumed, we were looking at whether they were consuming," Nielsen said.