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Despite a clear understanding of how many fruits and vegetables they should be consuming on a daily basis, a survey of some 1,300 Midwesterners by Michigan-based retailer Meijer reveals that nearly six out of 10 feel they just aren’t eating enough produce.
In separate questions, an identical percentage (58%) said they don’t feel they eat enough fruit or enough vegetables, according to the survey conducted last month. As for the reasons why they don’t consume more produce, the top two obstacles listed were cost (39%) and preparation (20%). Only 5% indicated taste played a part in their decision not to eat more fruits and vegetables.
“Most people know they should be eating more fruits and vegetables but they perceive them as expensive to purchase and difficult to prepare,” said Shari Steinbach, Meijer registered dietitian and healthy living manager. “Fruits and vegetables are top disease-fighting foods and consuming at least five cups a day can significantly reduce your risk of getting sick. Everyone should try to include at least one serving of a fruit or vegetable at every meal and for snacks.”
Of those respondents with children, nearly half (48%) said that, by comparison, their kids eat more fruit than other children and roughly one-third (35%) said their kids eat about the same as others. Thirteen percent felt their kids eat less fruits than their peers.
When it comes to vegetables, a little more than one-third (36%) said their kids eat more than other children, while four out of 10 said they feel their kids eat about the same as other children. Twenty percent said their children eat vegetables less often than others in their age group.
When asked to name the correct amount of the USDA-recommended daily servings of fruits (two to four servings) and vegetables (three to five servings), 64 percent correctly identified the amounts for fruits and 70 percent knew the correct amount for vegetables.
“There is still a lot of work to be done to get families to eat more fruits and vegetables,” Steinbach said. “Our Meijer Healthy Living team provides shoppers with tools to make eating healthy easy and affordable, and our dietitians plan dinner menus each week based on Meijer sale items. Each dinner includes two servings of fruits and vegetables and the cost is $10 or under for a family of four. The menus, which are available at Meijer.com, even include a shopping list by department.”
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates 196 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.