Federal guidelines recommend eating 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day. Two years ago, only 9% of Americans ate enough veggies, while only 12% ate the required amount of fruit.
Seung Hee Lee Kwan, Ph.D., the lead author of the study released Thursday, warns the lack of fruits and vegetables in Americans' diets raises the risks for chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease.
"We’re missing out on the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that fruits and vegetables provide," he said in a statement.
The study also found consumption of fruits and vegetables was lower among men, young adults and adults who live in poverty. To make matters worse, the most commonly eaten vegetable is potatoes (think french fries).
The CDC has laid out several strategies for getting more Americans to eat fruits and veggies, including improving access at retail stores and starting or expanding farmers' markets.
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