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Meatless Monday: Efforts to Increase Fruit and Veggie Consumption Are Falling On Deaf Ears

For years dieticians and health experts have been telling Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables, touting their amazing health benefits. So why are many of us ignoring them?

Last month the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance reported these grim statistics on America’s fruit and vegetable consumption:

• 6% of Americans eat the recommended amount of vegetables each day.

• 8% of Americans eat enough servings of fruit each day.

• States with the lowest fruit and vegetable consumption are also showing the highest obesity rates.

According to a L.A. Times article by Shari Roan, the average teen is actually eating fewer fruits and vegetables each day than they did five years ago.

Some of us feel that fresh fruits and vegetables are too expensive, time-consuming and difficult to prepare. 

Health experts have made the mistake of only pushing fresh produce. They need to extol the virtues of flash frozen produce as a time-saving, inexpensive and healthy alternative to fresh.

Many also fear trying unfamiliar fruits and vegetables. If we don’t like the way they turn out, then we have wasted our valuable time and money.

It is essential for health experts to make fruits and veggies attractive. They need to use our favorite celebrity chefs and television personalities as spokespeople to make fruits and vegetables interesting.

When you admire someone and want to emulate their lifestyle, you are more likely to take a chance on their recipes and try new things. 

Just telling us what we should eat is clearly not an effective strategy to increase our fruit and vegetable consumption.



Big Al Paterson, United States

Anything you don't want to do is practically impossible.

Holly , Mexico

I'm severely disabled and can't do much on my feet. But I drink Hawaaian Punch and V8 to give me a mixed bag of fruit and veggie in a form that is also easy for the body to absorb. But I DO take time for fresh veggies; it just ISN'T that hard.