NH DHHS - Eat Well to Be Healthy: New Data on Fruits and Vegetables Consumption

Concord, NH – We have all heard since childhood the admonishment to “eat

your fruits and vegetables,” but apparently the message still is not

getting through. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention (CDC) entitled “State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables

2013” doesn’t paint a very healthy picture for New Hampshire, or the


On average in the U.S., adults consume 1.6 servings of vegetables per day

but the recommendation is for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables

per day. In New Hampshire, the average adult consumes at least 1.8 servings

per day, which is on the high end for the country. A diet rich in fruits

and vegetables helps reduce the risk of cancer and chronic diseases. Fruits

and vegetables also provide essential nutrients and vitamins, fiber, and

other substances important for good health. Most fruits and vegetables are

naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.

“As more is learned about nutrition and its effect on our overall health

the more important the consumption of fruits and vegetables becomes as part

of a healthy diet,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “I am pleased

to see that our State is on the high end of fruits and vegetables

consumption, but we can and should do better for ourselves and our families

and New Hampshire.”

According to the report, in 2013 30.3% of adults and 36.8% of adolescents

in New Hampshire reported eating fruits less than once a day, and 17.6% of

adults and 31.8% of adolescents reported eating vegetables less than once a

day. However, New Hampshire has fewer healthier food retailers compared

with the national average.

DHHS has been working with the NH Kids Count Coalition so that children and

their families can access affordable, nutritious food, including fresh

fruits and vegetables in their local communities. A great goal is for

adults to support local farmers markets and other access points for fresh

fruits and vegetables. It is not only good for your health but for the

local economy as well. To see a list of more than 70 farmers markets in New

Hampshire, visit the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture Markets and

Food; the list should be updated shortly for 2014.


This data brief on fruits and vegetables consumption is one of the topics

DHHS is focusing on in recognition of National Public Health Week, April

7–11 (#nphw #nhphw). To learn more, visit the DHHS website at

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/index.htm. For more information on NPHW

visit www.nphw.org