Photo: LollyKnit, Flickr
Americans may be polarized on a lot of issues these days, but it seems we can pretty much agree on one thing: we don't like broccoli. Or kale. Or, really, vegetables and fruit of any stripe.
Despite years of public-health campaigns aimed at getting us to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, a recent study by the Centers of Disease Control has found that most of us -- the vast majority, in fact -- are still treating spinach like a bunch of picky toddlers.
The state-by-state analysis found that, overall, only about a third of American adults consume two or more servings of fruit per day, while just over a quarter eat three or more servings of vegetables.
To say that this falls a little short of the CDC's goal would be like saying home prices in 2005 were just a tad inflated: the agency had hoped that by now, 75 percent of adults would be eating the right amount of fruit while 50 percent would be eating enough vegetables.
What's worse is that the study found that there's been no statistical increase during the past decade in vegetable consumption, while fruit consumption has actually fallen slightly.
In this context, every state is pretty much a failure, but who failed the, um, least? Tennessee, Oregon and Maine had some of the highest levels of vegetable eaters, while folks in California, New York and Vermont ate the most fruit. And while politicians may joke that pork is king in Washington, D.C., it seems that there are plenty of apples and green beans to go around there as well. The nation's capital was the only area surveyed to rank among the top five for both fruit and vegetable consumption.
As for the worst of the worst: South Dakota, Louisiana and Iowa ranked at the bottom of states with the lowest levels of vegetable consumption, while in Oklahoma, South Carolina and Kansas, it seems folks there have never met a banana they actually liked. Mississippi has the dubious distinction of being near the bottom of both lists.
But the bottom line here is: no one has much room to gloat. It looks like we all could've used a V8.