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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Moms - and Docs - Say: Eat Your Vegetables


Many of us with lactose intolerance don't get our calcium from dairy products. Plant calcium is a good alternative source. But that means eating vegetables, an activity Americans value about as much as they do dollar coins.

Mirandi Hitti reported on WebMD.com on a major study from Johns Hopkins University researchers that said we're eating fewer vegetables now than even a few years ago. (Casagrande, S. American Journal of Public Health, April 2007; vol 32.)

That's right: all the people turning vegetarians and the strive for five campaigns and emphasis on diet has backfired. We're doing worse.

Johns Hopkins University's Tiffany Gary, PhD, and colleagues reviewed data from two national health surveys.

The first survey, conducted from 1988 to 1994, included nearly 15,000 U.S. adults. The second survey, done between 1999 and 2002, included about 8,900 U.S. adults.

In both, participants reported everything they had eaten during the previous 24 hours. Then researchers checked how many people met these goals:

  • Two or more servings of fruit, including fresh fruit, dried fruit, and 100% fruit juice

  • Three or more servings of vegetables (fried potatoes count).


The result:
Fruit consumption basically stayed the same while vegetable consumption dropped slightly, note the researchers.

In addition, vegetable eaters appear to be in a bit of a rut. They tended to eat several servings of the same vegetable, showing little dietary diversity.

In each survey, only 11% met both goals.

Fried potatoes count? And we're still doing worse?

Give me strength. Literally. I need it to bang my head against the wall.

OK, that does it. You asked for it. We're down to desperate measures.

Tomorrow we talk about the new food pryamid.

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