Broccoli might be Obama’s favourite food, but vegetables aren’t endearing to most Americans. No matter how many times moms sing “Eat your vegetables”, kids don’t eat greens for fun. And this aversion carries over into adult life, where veggies are much needed on our plate but severely lacking as research indicates.
In case you forgot, let’s review the health benefits of eating vegetables, especially those of dark color and beans and peas. They are excellent source of protein and dietary fiber as well as nutrients such as iron, zinc, potassium, folate and vitamins. These nutrients help us fight against chronic diseases, reduce risks for cardiovascular diseases and even protect us from cancer. Plus, vegetables are low in calories.
That is why the CDC recommends Adults who engage in less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity should consume 2–3 cups of vegetables daily. And the reality? 87% of the American population fail to meet daily vegetable consumption recommendations, according to 2013 survey data by Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). At the far end of the spectrum, the state of Mississippi reported only 5.5% of population who met daily recommended intake.
Let’s take a look at current American adult vegetable consumption by gender, age group and state, as well as most consumed vegetables.