HOCKESSIN, Del. — The average American's produce consumption is far below recommended levels, with only 6% of U.S. consumers achieving their recommended daily intake of vegetables and only 8% reaching the target for fruit, according to the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance's 2010 National Action Plan.
The plan includes a report card that evaluates progress made by schools, restaurants, food retailers and federal and state governments on implementing strategies suggested in the 2005 NAP for increasing produce consumption, according to a release from the Produce for Better Health Foundation here.
The WIC Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers program, introduced last year as part of the federal supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children received an "A" grade in the report. And, school food and restaurant menus — credited with making some progress toward greater availability of healthy options — received a "C."
But, the healthy food advertising category received a failing grade, with the report arguing that nutritious food advertising has declined during the past five years.
To increase U.S. consumption of produce, the report recommends increasing the accessibility of fruits and vegetables in schools, restaurants, and communities with little retail access to fresh produce, strengthening nutrition education programs and promotion efforts and aligning federal funding priorities with federal dietary guidelines.