Massachusetts Residents Are Eating Their Fruits and Veggies
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables for 2013, Massachusetts residents eat an average of 1.7 servings of vegetables per day, a number far better than the numbers for most of the rest of America, but still not great.
In the above graphic produced by the CDC, Mass. ranks highly in terms of consuming fruits and vegetables daily. The report notes that there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of keeping Americans healthy, especially because the suggested number of servings of fruits and vegetables for an adult American is five per day:
“There is still more work to be done to increase fruit and vegetable access and consumption. For example, only about 70% of all census tracts in this country currently have at least one store that offers a wide variety of affordable fruits and vegetables. This rate varies by state, with California, New York, Florida, the District of Columbia, and Oregon having the greatest access to one of these stores.”
So while Massachusetts is doing objectively better than other states in terms of healthy eating, only 68.6 percent of our residents have a healthy food retailer within a half mile of their homes. The good news is that 44.4 percent of middle and high schools in our state offer fruits and vegetables during celebrations, a number which is higher than the national average of 33.6 percent but still demonstrates a problem, according to the report.
Massachusetts stood out positively in the report because of our state’s focus on increasing the number of farmer’s markets in cities all over the state. Massachusetts has 4.4 farmers markets for every 100,000 residents which is almost double the national average.
So while Massachusetts is certainly not the worst off when it comes to fruit and vegetable consumption, we certainly aren’t the best either (check out New Hampshire!).