Half of American children don't eat a vegetable a day
One in two young American children do not eat at least one vegetable daily, as recommended for health, according to a study by health authorities published Thursday.
The proportion is only slightly better for fruit: one in three young children (32%) do not consume at least one a day.
These estimates are taken from a questionnaire submitted, between June 2021 and January 2022, to the parents of approximately 18,300 children between the ages of 1 and 5. They were published by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the main federal health agency in the country.
This study also shows that 57% of children had drunk a drink containing sugars added at least once during the week preceding the questionnaire.
Young children need specific nutrients for their development, which can be provided by fruits and vegetables, underlined the CDC. And added sugars are associated with an increased risk of obesity, cavities, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The study also revealed significant differences between states: in Vermont, only 30 % of children between the ages of 1 and 5 had not eaten at least one vegetable a day during the previous week, compared to nearly 65% in Louisiana.
The percentage of children who did not eat a vegetable and fruit a day was also higher among black children than white children, and for children living in poorer households with little food available.
Generally, 1-year-old children were more likely than those slightly older to consume one vegetable and one fruit per day.