Fruit and vegetable consumption among children under 12 has risen since 2004, a new study says, but teens are eating less.
The study, commissioned by the Produce for Better Health Foundation and NPD Foodworld Group Research, reports children under 6 ate 11% more fruit in 2009 than they did in 2004, while ages 6 to 12 were up 7%.
Vegetable consumption among children rose less sharply: 3% among those under 6, 2% for ages 6 to 12.
But teens are eating fewer fruits and vegetables, the study reports. Among ages 13 to 17, fruit consumption was down 2%; vegetables were down 6%.
The numbers were reported Sept. 23.
Findings on adults were consistent with those published by the Centers for Disease Control in the Sept. 10 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly. The CDC reported last year’s adult fruit consumption was down slightly among adults, who ate about the same amount of vegetables as they did in 2000.
“I’m pleased to see that at least our younger children are consuming more fruits and vegetables,” Elizabeth Pivonka, PBH president, said in a news release. "However, the decrease in fruit and vegetable consumption as children move into their teen years is troublesome."
"Is it because fruits and vegetables aren’t available at school, or because it isn’t ‘cool’ to eat them anymore, thanks to extensive marketing of less nutritious foods, or a combination of these factors and others?" she added. "Regardless, we still have a long way to go to get consumption up to recommended levels."