Monday, September 04, 2006

Shocker: Americans Don't Eat Enough Veggies

According to a news study by the USDA just 11 percent of Americans are eating enough vegetables to comply with the new food pyramid, reports WebMD. It's an old study, covering 1999-2000, but I doubt that eating habits have changed much (new food pyramid or not).

The most delinquent age group is boys aged 14 to 18, where just .7 percent are eating the suggested 5 cups (that's a whopping 10 servings).

Interestingly enough, 40 percent of Americans would qualify under the old food recommendations, so maybe we just need to give the new pyramid a chance. Have you checked out what your pyramid is? Yes, you have your very own pyramid, the new guidelines are age, sex and activity-specific.

Under the old standards, girls aged 4 to 8 were at the low end of compliance (just 10 percent), and surprisingly, men aged 51 to 70 were at the high end (51 to 70). Perhaps they're making up for a lifetime of indulging in burgers, booze and other manly stuff.

Now it's not that Americans aren't eating vegetables. They are. Four-point-seven servings, according to the USDA report. It's just that it's not enough to maintain good health. Another problem is the type of vegetable we're eating. Five out of six vegetable servings in the American diet are starchy vegetables (like potatoes), while we eat just a third of the recommended amount of dark green and orange vegetables and legumes, which are rich in nutrients.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.