A new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that on average only 12 percent of U.S. adults meet fruit intake and only 10 percent meet vegetable intake recommendations as outlined in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Low intakes may put Americans at increased risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
When looking at this data on the state level,1 the average percentage of adults meeting fruit intake recommendations ranged from 8.4 percent to 16.1 percent, and for vegetables ranged from 5.6 percent to 16.0 percent. The DGAs recommend 1.5 to 2 cup-equivalents of fruit daily for most adults. Although data differed by state, those with Hispanic ethnicity and women were more likely overall to meet fruit intake recommendations.
Low fruit and 100 % fruit juice intake may lead to lower intakes of key nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, and folate, as well as phytonutrients (naturally occurring plant compounds). These nutrients are essential in supporting immune system health and are associated with reduced risk for some chronic conditions. Intake of vitamin C declined 23 percent between 1999 and 2018, driven by decreases in consumption of 100 % fruit juice.2 While whole fruit is recommended, adding just one 8-ounce glass of 100 % orange juice to the daily diet can help fill nutrient and fruit intake gaps while overcoming many of the barriers to fruit intake, including availability, cost, and access. Orange juice and other 100 % fruit juices are readily available year-round and are a cost-effective and convenient way for Americans to move the needle closer to meeting fruit intake recommendations.3
The current analysis by the CDC included data from 294,566 adults aged 18 and older collected as part of the 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance system (BRFSS). Data were reported for 49 states and the District of Columbia. Respondents reported their intake per day, week, or month of vegetables and fruit, including 100 % fruit juice, over the previous 30 days.
1Lee et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022;71(1):1-9
2Brauchla et al. Nutrients. 2021;13(2):420
3Brauchla et al. Public Health Nutrition. 2021; Feb 8;1-7
While whole fruit consumption increased in children between 2003 and 2016, the intake of several important nutrients decreased over time, a new study shows. Adding 100 % orange juice to the diet could help address this shortfall and bolster intake of other key nutrients.
A cross sectional analysis using the nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data on children ages 2 to 18 found significantly higher intakes of whole fruit yet a significant decrease in the intake of folate, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin D, sodium, potassium, iron and zinc over these time periods.
The FDOC-funded study published in the International Journal of Child Health and Nutrition in July, found that from 2003-2016, the amount of all 100 % fruit juice consumed decreased 44 percent while the percentage of total fruit consumed from whole fruit increased from about 45 percent in 2003 to 65 percent in 2016.
However, the intake of 100 % orange juice (and other 100 % fruit juices) was the likely food source(s) associated with increased consumption of calcium, potassium and phosphorus in certain populations at both time periods (2003 and 2016) and OJ consumers tended to have lower intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages.
The researchers suggest that a possible strategy to decrease inadequate intake of calcium, potassium, and phosphorus is to increase the consumption of 100 % orange juice and other 100 % fruit juice and decrease the consumption of sweetened beverages and coffee/tea.
“Potassium and calcium are under consumed by Americans and have been deemed nutrients of public health concern. These nutrients are important for growing children and 100 % orange juice, particularly calcium-fortified juice, can help enhance the intake of these and other key nutrients,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, Director of Scientific Research for the Florida Department of Citrus.
Further, vitamin C intake in children has decreased over time and more children have inadequate intake levels. While not linked directly to the decreased consumption of 100 % fruit juice, the results suggest that the increased intake of whole fruit is not adequately addressing vitamin C shortfalls.
Adding 100 % orange juice to the diet, in appropriate amounts as outlined by the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), can help address the shortfalls or gaps in the intakes of folate, thiamin, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin D in fortified juices. The AAP guidelines suggest limiting portions of 100 % fruit juice to 4 oz. a day for children 1 to 3, 4 to 6 oz. a day for children 4 to 6 and 8 oz. a day for children 7 to 18.
More research is needed to determine the best way to support childhood nutrition. FDOC’s Scientific Research Department has several ongoing projects with researchers to examine the role of 100 % orange juice in the diets of children and adolescents.
Although there is strong evidence that consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with a reduced rate of all-cause mortality, only a minority of the population consumes 5 servings a day, and campaigns to increase intake have had limited success. This review examines whether encouraging the consumption of fruit juice might offer a step toward the 5-a-day target. Reasons given for not consuming whole fruit involve practicalities, inconvenience, and the effort required. Psychologically, what is important is not only basic information about health, but how individuals interpret their ability to implement that information. It has been argued that fruit juice avoids the problems that commonly prevent fruit consumption and thus provides a practical means of increasing intake and benefitting health through an approach with which the population can readily engage. Those arguing against consuming fruit juice emphasize that it is a source of sugar lacking fiber, yet juice provides nutrients such as vitamin C, carotenoids, and polyphenols that offer health-related benefits. Actively encouraging the daily consumption of fruit juice in public health policy could help populations achieve the 5-a-day recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake.
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Source: Oxford Academic