New Report Shows Every State’s Lopsided Fruit, Veggie, and Sugary Drink Intake Among Young Children

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The eating habits of America’s youngsters have been improving, but a recent study by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the nation has more work to do. The study found that children aged 1 to 5 eat far fewer fruits and vegetables than they should, and consume more sugar-sweetened beverages. (These are 25 foods that are wrecking your teeth and gums.)

To compile a list of just how much fruits, vegetables, and sugar-sweetened beverages children in that age group consume in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a report published this month by the CDC, based on data for 2021 from the National Survey of Children’s Health. Percentages are weighted to account for complex survey design and adjusted for the probability of selection, nonresponse, and demographic factors to represent children in each state between the age of 1 and 5.

The National Survey of Children’s Health that examined the frequency intake of 18,386 children in that age range for fruits, vegetables, and sugar-sweetened beverages, nationally and by state. On a national level, during the week preceding the survey, 32.1% of America’s children didn’t eat a daily fruit, 49.1% did not consume a daily vegetable, and 57.1% drank a sugar-sweetened beverage at least once. (Here are some easy ways to be a healthier person.)

Percentages vary dramatically from state to state. In Vermont, 30.4% of children ate no daily vegetable and 16.3% ate no daily fruit. In Louisiana, those numbers were 64.3% and 49.(%, respectively. The percentage of children who imbibed a sugar-sweetened drink at least once during the preceding week ranged from 38.8% in Maine to 79.3% in Mississippi.

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