This Chart Shows How Many People in Your State Are Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables

The takeaway: Not very many.

<a href="">Adisa</a>/Shutterstock

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Bring out the carrots! According to a new report from the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 13 percent of Americans eat enough fruit, and 9 percent eat enough vegetables.

Researchers analyzed data from a 2013 study of nearly 400,000 adults across the country, and compared their answers to the US Department of Agriculture’s daily intake recommendations. The guidelines suggest that adults who work out less than 30 minutes per day eat about 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables. (A cup of fruit is equivalent to a small apple, a cup of vegetables is about a dozen baby carrots.)

The vast majority of Americans didn’t make the cut, though answers did vary state by state. States in the South tended to have the lowest level of consumption, with only 5.5 percent of adults in Mississippi meeting veggie recommendations and 7.5 percent of adults in Tennessee eating enough fruits. States on the coast fared slightly better, with California topping both lists.

Latetia Moore, the lead author, says that in order to improve the rates, fruits and vegetables must be more affordable and convenient to buy. “Fruits and vegetables need to be competitively priced, strategically placed, and creatively promoted wherever we obtain our food,” she wrote in an email. Particularly important to target, she said, are child care facilities, schools, and work sites.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend