Bad Apples

Two new studies come to the no-duh conclusion that Americans don’t eat enough fruits and veggies. What’s interesting is that while most people do get some vegetables in their diet, a huge number of eaters seem to shun fruit. As The Washington Post explains, 62 percent of people in the study—published in the forthcoming issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine—didn’t consume fruit on a daily basis, and 25 percent didn’t have vegetables each day.

In other words, almost two-thirds of us may get a partial serving or two of fruit now and then—which I’d wager is in the form of juice, or maybe a few berries sprinkled on top of cereal (if not on top of cheesecake)—but few folks actually snack on whole or even canned fruits. Looks like we’re better with vegetables, since 75 percent of us ostensibly eat at least more than none, and 32 percent actually get the three minimum recommended daily servings (whereas only 28 percent meet the lower two-a-day minimum for fruit).

It’s not entirely clear what they’re counting as vegetables here; if potatoes and tomatoes are on the veg side of the divide, that would explain a lot. But could this disparity also have to do with the fact that most of the whole fruit commonly available (especially to low-income people) is so BAD? If the only unprocessed fruits I could buy were the mealy apples and bruised bananas I see at so many corner stores and deli counters, I’d get all my fruit from blueberry muffins, too.

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