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WILMINGTON, Del. -- The produce department of a San Francisco Safeway store provided the backdrop for the official unveiling of a new public health initiative -- Fruits & Veggies-More Matters –- by the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), based here, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As the next generation of the 15-year-old "5 A Day for Better Health" program, the initiative's launch coincided with the release of a new article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showing that most Americans don't eat enough fruits and vegetables.
The new Fruits and Veggies-More Matters brand was also developed to be consistent with the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends various numbers of servings of fruits and vegetables, depending on an individual's calorie needs -- ranging from four to 13 servings, or two to 6.5 cups, per day.
"Fruits & Veggies-More Matters is a new call for a healthier America that is inspiring, attainable, and easy for people to understand," said Elizabeth Pivonka, PBH president and c.e.o. "The message is intentionally simple: Most people benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables every day." She added that all forms count: fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100 percent juice.
William Dietz, director of CDC's division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, said that healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, and can also help people manage their weight. However, more than 90 percent of both adults and children don't consume the amounts now recommended by the Dietary Guidelines. "Our mission is to change consumers' behavior over the long term and close this consumption gap," he said.
PBH also bowed a new interactive Web site, www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, which offers recipes, serving ideas, and shopping advice, as well as activities and tips for getting children involved and giving consumers the opportunity to share their own easy and fun serving ideas by submitting them online.
A number of produce industry organizations issued wrap-around support of the new campaign, them the Mushroom Council, Del Monte Foods, and Imagination Farms.