Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

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From 2011 to 2012, people aged 2 years and older consumed 1.3 cups of fruit and vegetables.

Summary graph for Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, Click to see detailed view of graph

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Introduction

People whose diets are rich in plant foods such as fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of getting cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, and lung, and some evidence suggests that maintaining a diet rich in plant foods also lowers the risk of cancers of the colon, pancreas, and prostate. This diet also reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, helps to reduce calorie intake, and may help to control weight.

To help prevent the aforementioned cancers and other chronic diseases, experts recommend the daily consumption of 2 to 6.5 cups of fruits and vegetables, depending on one’s energy needs. This includes 1 to 2.5 cups of fruits and 1 to 4 cups of vegetables, with special emphasis on dark green and orange vegetables and legumes. There is no evidence that the popular white potato protects against cancer.

Measure

Average daily cup equivalents per 1,000 calories of fruits and vegetables for people aged 2 years and older. This measure includes fruits and vegetables from all sources.

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • 0.9 daily cup equivalents of fruit per 1,000 calories. 1.14 daily cup equivalents of vegetables per 1,000 calories, with at least 0.55 cup equivalents of dark green or orange vegetables or legumes per 1,000 calories.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Source

U.S. Department of Agriculture. What We Eat in America.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1994–2012.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

Overall Comparison

Average cups of fruit and vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older, 1994-2012
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2011 to 2012)
Average cups per 1,000 calories Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Average cups of fruit and vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older, 1994-2012 Fruit and VegetablesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Fruit and Vegetables 1.3 (1.2 - 1.4)
FruitClick to see the detailed trend graph for Fruit 0.5 (0.5 - 0.6)
VegetablesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Vegetables 0.8 (0.7 - 0.8)

Fruit and Vegetables Combined

By Sex
Average cups of fruit and vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by sex, 1994-2012
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2011 to 2012)
Average cups per 1,000 calories Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Average cups of fruit and vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by sex, 1994-2012 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 1.3 (1.2 - 1.4)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 1.2 (1.2 - 1.3)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 1.4 (1.3 - 1.5)
By Race/Ethnicity
Average cups of fruit and vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by race/ethnicity, 1994-2012
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2011 to 2012)
Average cups per 1,000 calories Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Average cups of fruit and vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by race/ethnicity, 1994-2012 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 1.3 (1.2 - 1.4)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 1.3 (1.2 - 1.4)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 1.2 (1.1 - 1.2)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 1.4 (1.3 - 1.5)
By Poverty Income Level
Average cups of fruit and vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by poverty income level, 1994-2012
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2011 to 2012)
Average cups per 1,000 calories Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Average cups of fruit and vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by poverty income level, 1994-2012 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 1.2 (1.1 - 1.3)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 1.4 (1.3 - 1.5)

Fruit

By Sex
Average cups of fruit consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by sex, 1994-2012
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2011 to 2012)
Average cups per 1,000 calories Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Average cups of fruit consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by sex, 1994-2012 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 0.5 (0.5 - 0.6)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 0.5 (0.5 - 0.5)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 0.6 (0.5 - 0.6)
By Race/Ethnicity
Average cups of fruit consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by race/ethnicity, 1994-2012
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2011 to 2012)
Average cups per 1,000 calories Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Average cups of fruit consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by race/ethnicity, 1994-2012 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 0.5 (0.5 - 0.6)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 0.5 (0.5 - 0.6)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 0.5 (0.5 - 0.6)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 0.6 (0.5 - 0.6)
By Poverty Income Level
Average cups of fruit consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by poverty income level, 1994-2012
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2011 to 2012)
Average cups per 1,000 calories Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Average cups of fruit consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by poverty income level, 1994-2012 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 0.5 (0.5 - 0.5)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 0.6 (0.5 - 0.6)

Vegetables

By Sex
Average cups of vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by sex, 1994-2012
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2011 to 2012)
Average cups per 1,000 calories Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Average cups of vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by sex, 1994-2012 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 0.8 (0.7 - 0.8)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 0.7 (0.7 - 0.8)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 0.8 (0.8 - 0.9)
By Race/Ethnicity
Average cups of vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by race/ethnicity, 1994-2012
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2011 to 2012)
Average cups per 1,000 calories Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Average cups of vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by race/ethnicity, 1994-2012 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 0.8 (0.7 - 0.8)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 0.8 (0.7 - 0.8)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 0.7 (0.6 - 0.7)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 0.8 (0.8 - 0.9)
By Poverty Income Level
Average cups of vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by poverty income level, 1994-2012
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2011 to 2012)
Average cups per 1,000 calories Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Average cups of vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories by individuals aged 2 years and older by poverty income level, 1994-2012 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 0.7 (0.7 - 0.8)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 0.8 (0.8 - 0.8)

Additional Information on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

For the public

For health professionals

Statistics

Year Range

1994-2012

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2007-2012

Summary Tables

Diet

Recent Summary Trend

Non-Significant Change

Desired Direction

Rising