WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. high school students
still aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables, according to a
new study by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The investigators analyzed data from nearly 10,800 students in
grades nine through 12 who took part in the National Youth Physical
Activity and Nutrition Study 2010, and found that median
consumption was 1.2 times per day for both fruits and
Median daily fruit consumption was much higher among males than
females, and much higher among grade nine students than among
students in grades 10 and 12.
Slightly more than one in four (28.5 percent) of the high school
students ate fruit less than once a day, and 33.2 percent ate
vegetables less than once a day. Only 16.8 percent of students ate
fruit at least four times a day and only 11.2 percent ate
vegetables at least four times a day, the study found.
Vegetable consumption was lowest among Hispanic and black
The researchers said their findings indicate that most high
school students don't meet the daily fruit and vegetable
recommendations for teens who do less than 30 minutes of physical
activity a day: 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables for
females and 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables for males.
Teens who get more physical activity need to eat even more
fruits and vegetables, the researchers noted.
"The infrequent fruit and vegetable consumption by high school students highlights the need for effective strategies to increase consumption," the researchers wrote in the report published in the Nov. 25 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Potentially promising school and community-based strategies
include policy and environmental approaches such as farm-to-school
initiatives, school gardens, salad bars in schools, and farmers'
markets. All of these programs seek to improve access to and
availability of fruits and vegetables, the researchers
The Nemours Foundation outlines how parents can encourage
healthy eating among children.