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CDC Says States Not Meeting Fruit and Veggie Objectives

State-by-state report finds states deficient in supporting healthy food in stores and schools

THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In a Sept. 29 press release, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says no U.S. state is currently meeting the national Healthy People 2010 objectives for fruit and vegetable consumption.

In its first state-by-state progress report, the CDC finds just 33 percent of adults meet the recommendation for fruit consumption and 27 percent for vegetables. For high school students, the figures are 32 and 13 percent, respectively. The Healthy People 2010 objectives call for 75 percent of Americans to get two servings of fruit a day and 50 percent to get three servings of vegetables.

The report focuses on three key policy areas for states: promotion of retail availability of healthier food, healthier food in schools, and support of the food system to facilitate getting fruits and vegetables from farms to consumers. Currently, only eight states have policies to improve the retail availability of healthier foods in areas without food stores or in small food stores. Only 21 percent of schools have fruit or non-fried vegetables in vending machines, and only 21 states have a policy to support farm-to-school programs.

"A diet high in fruits and vegetables is important for optimal child growth, maintaining a healthy weight, and prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, all of which currently contribute to health care costs in the United States," said William H. Dietz, M.D., director of the CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, in a statement.

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