The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and other national health care groups are requesting that the United States government stress fruits and vegetables more strongly in its health care guidelines for Americans. They want the government to bring fruits and vegetables to the “core” of the American diet.
“Americans are suffering from an alarming deficit that results in the dramatic increase of chronic disease,” reports Elizabeth Pivnka, PhD, RD, president of the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), a nonprofit organization devoted to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
Fruits and vegetables also fight obesity, says Linda Haas, PhC, RN, CDE, president, health care and education for the ADA.
“Even our kids are getting heavier,” says Haas, who recently heard that 20 percent of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (often linked to obesity) are children.
“We’re looking at this campaign as a whole package, including putting exercise back in our schools,” reports Haas.
Things like the Food Guide Pyramid will not change, nor have the ADA’s nutrition recommendations. “The problem is that the general population isn’t following the pyramid,” she says.
“If we, as a society, were eating enough fruits and vegetables, we wouldn’t be getting heavier.”