A team from the Arizona State University East, Mesa, Arizona, USA used the ‘Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals' (1994-1996) to examine the types of fruit and vegetables consumed by Americans.
The analytic sample population consisted of 4806 men and women, aged 25-75 years old. Each individual completed two non-consecutive 24-hour recalls.
The team found that individuals consumed 3.6 ± 2.3 servings of vegetables and 1.6 ± 2.0 servings of fruit daily.
Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, French fried potatoes, bananas, and orange juice were the most commonly consumed fruit and vegetables. These accounted for nearly 30 per cent of all fruit and vegetables consumed. The most popular items, lettuce and tomatoes, were consumed by 39-42 per cent of the sample population during the reporting period.
Fewer respondents (16-24 per cent) consumed French fried potatoes, bananas, or orange juice.
The most commonly consumed fruit and vegetables were: iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, French fried potatoes, bananas, and orange juice.
Only 3 per cent of the sample consumed broccoli during the reporting period.
White potato consumption averaged 1.1 servings daily, with French fried potatoes representing 0.4 serving.
Tomato product; dark green vegetable; and citrus, berry, or melon consumption averaged 0.5; 0.2; and nearly 0.8 serving daily, respectively.
Dr Carol Johnston concluded on behalf of the group that, "These data indicate that Americans are consuming more fruit and vegetables, but that dark green and cruciferous vegetable intake is low.
"Dark green and cruciferous vegetables are important as they are related to reduced cancer risk."