ATLANTA — Children under the age of 12 have been eating more fruits and vegetables since 2004, but consumption among teenagers declined during that period, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in September 10 issue of the scientific journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly.
The report indicates that children under the age of 6 increased their fruit consumption by 11% and their vegetable consumption by 3% from 2004 through 2009. Kids in the 6-12 age group increased their fruit consumption by 7%, and their vegetable consumption by 2%, according to a summary of the report's findings sent to the press by the Produce for Better Health Foundation.
Teens ate fewer fruits and vegetables during that period, though. Vegetable consumption fell 6% and fruit consumption fell 2% among U.S. teens.
“I’m pleased to see that at least our younger children are consuming more fruits and vegetables,” Elizabeth Pivonka, president and chief executive officer of PBH, said in a 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 asked.