US Shuns Veggies, Wants Fries With That

Just 23% of Americans eat vegetables 3 times a day
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2010 9:39 AM CDT
US Shuns Veggies, Wants Fries With That
Baby carrots: Eat 'em like junk food.   (PRNewsFoto/Bolthouse Farms)

Michelle Obama may be telling you to do it, Glenn Beck says you don't have to, and Bill Clinton may actually be doing it, but Americans just aren't eating their fruits and vegetables, reports the New York Times in a look at American eating habits. Even with the rise of farmers' markets and the sexing up of baby carrots, a recent CDC study showed that only 26% of the US eats vegetables three or more times a day. And, the Times notes, no, you can't count french fries.

“There is nothing you can say that will get people to eat more veggies,” says one expert. Another study out this week shows that just 23% of meals include a vegetable (which also doesn't count french fries, but does count a burger with lettuce), and just 5% of meals ordered at restaurants are dinner salads—down by half from 1989. For some it's taste, but for others, dodging veggies is more about convenience: “The moment you have something fresh, you have to schedule your life around using it,” says the expert. Concurs a busy Manhattanite: “An apple you can just grab. But what am I going to do, put a piece of kale in my purse?” (More french fries stories.)

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