|About 5 A Day|
America's Eating Behavior
Research conducted by the Produce for Better Health Foundation and completed by MRCA Information Services gives us a look at America's Daily Fruit and Vegetable Deficit.
Starting the day with breakfast, this is what we found:
- We are more than twice as likely to start the day with coffee (36%) than fruit or vegetable juice (17%).
- Even though fruit and vegetable juice represent less than 20% of the beverages we consume at breakfast, 65% of all fruit juices and 34% of all vegetable juices are consumed at this time.
- If you take a look at all the foods we eat at breakfast, only 10% of the foods are fruits, vegetables, beans, or 100% juices.
Lunch time was not much better; we found that:
- Only 17% of the foods we eat at lunch are fruits, vegetables, beans, or 100% juices.
- When it comes to just beverages, we are almost ten times as likely to select a carbonated soft drink than 100% juice.
Before we move on to dinner, let's take a look at what we do best, snacking:
- Americans love to snack: 90% of us are snackers (snacking at least once in a two-week period) and we snack, on average, twice a day. Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables are the snack of choice only 10% of the time.
- We are four times more likely to pick a processed snack, than a fruit or vegetable.
- When you take a look at our top eight snacks, vegetables come in last at 3% and fruits are number four at 15%.
- On average we eat less than one vegetable snack per month...yes, less than one...and approximately five fruits or fruit juices per month.
Finally, a look at dinner time in America:
- Dinner time is vegetable time; over 75% of all vegetables we eat are consumed at this time.
- But don't get too excited, even though dinner time is the most popular time for eating fruits and vegetables, only 28% of the foods we eat at dinner are fruits, vegetables, beans, or 100% juices.
According to the Federal Government, our recommended consumption should be between 5-9 servings a day.
MRCA Information Services is a leading authority on understanding and tracking America's eating behavior. Since its inception in 1938, MRCA has pioneered and perfected the instruments, techniques used for collecting, and interpreting food consumption behavior. Today, MRCA continues to lead as the only service capable of linking comprehensive nutritional attitudes and eating behaviors from the same individuals in order to truly understand the dynamics of dietary behavior.
Food consumption has been tracked continuously by MRCA's Menu Census diaries since 1957. These diaries monitor food and beverage consumption among all members of 2,000 scientifically selected households each year (representing 4,700 individuals), with each household homemaker recording both in-home and away-from-home consumption for a period of 14 days.
MRCA's Nutritional Marketing Information Division was established in 1990 to provide a unique evaluation of consumer knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding food and nutrition. The Nutrition and Food Attitude Inventory addresses a wide variety of nutritional issues, in addition to an extensive number of foods and ingredients.
For more information about the 5 A Day for Better Health program, contact the Produce for Better Health Foundation at 302-235-2329 or fax to 302-235-5555.
View our 5 A Day Dietary Guidelines page.