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Delaware Adults Still Not Eating
Recommended Amounts of Fruits and Veggies

Survey research often uses consumption of fruits and vegetables as an indicator of a healthy diet.  The Dietary Guidelines for Americans  recommends that half of one's average meal should consist of a variety of vegetables and fruits.  When that guideline is followed, the meal may be less likely to include a lot of foods high in saturated fats and/or sugars and refined carbohydrates.  The Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS) asks questions about vegetable and fruit consumption in odd-numbered years.

veggie tray photoOne frequent suggestion is that adults should try to eat at least five vegetables and fruits every day.  In 2015, what was the prevalence for consuming any variation of five fruits and/or vegetables a day?

Five-a-Day Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Only 15.2 percent of Delaware adults say that eat five fruits and veggies a day.
  • The median for all states is 15.7 percent.   Because the median is within Delaware's confidence interval, Delaware ranks in the middle of the states.
  • There are 20 states whose prevalence is within the Delaware confidence interval.
  • Our neighboring states are all close to us in prevalence.
  • There is nowhere in the country where prevalence of fruit and vegetable consumption is high. Colorado, the state with the highest prevalence, is only 6 percentage points higher (21 percent) than Delaware.
  • Mississippi, Kentucky and West Virginia (among the states with the highest obesity prevalence) are at the bottom of the list with under 10% of adults eating 5 a day.

Prevalence is much higher for smaller quantities of fruits and vegetables:  79.3 percent of adults report one or more vegetable per day, and 61.8% eat 1 or more fruits a day.

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Use in Delaware

Sugar-sweetened beverages — including sodas, fruit drinks, lemonade, sweet tea, and energy drinks — are high in calories and contain almost no nutrients. Therefore, they can contribute to weight gain, and development of pre-diabetes.  People with diabetes should not drink anything which is sugar-sweetened.

In 2015, the BRFS also asked questions about how many sugar-sweetened beverages respondents consume. About 31 percent of all adults in the survey reported they do not drink any sugar-sweetened beverages. Another 13.3 percent said they consume these high-sugar drinks less than once a day (see graph below for results).

sugar-sweetened beverage use graph


Return to the Main BRFS Page.