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Self-reported number of vegetables consumed by adults in an average day

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Vegetables

United States Vegetables (2012-2015) see more
  • Self-reported number of vegetables consumed by adults in an average day
Ranking Value State
1 2.21 California
2 2.12 Oregon
3 2.06 Vermont
4 2.05 New Hampshire
5 2.03 Alaska
6 2.02 Washington
7 2.01 Maine
7 2.01 Nevada
9 2 Colorado
10 1.99 Arizona
11 1.98 Hawaii
12 1.97 Rhode Island
12 1.97 Utah
14 1.96 New Mexico
15 1.95 Florida
15 1.95 Montana
15 1.95 New York
15 1.95 Wyoming
19 1.94 Massachusetts
20 1.93 Connecticut
20 1.93 Idaho
22 1.91 Virginia
23 1.89 Illinois
23 1.89 Maryland
25 1.87 Georgia
25 1.87 New Jersey
27 1.85 Kansas
27 1.85 North Carolina
27 1.85 Texas
30 1.84 Nebraska
31 1.81 Michigan
32 1.79 Missouri
33 1.78 Arkansas
33 1.78 Minnesota
35 1.77 Pennsylvania
36 1.76 Wisconsin
37 1.75 Alabama
38 1.74 Indiana
39 1.73 South Dakota
40 1.72 Kentucky
40 1.72 West Virginia
42 1.71 Ohio
42 1.71 South Carolina
42 1.71 Tennessee
45 1.68 Delaware
46 1.67 Iowa
46 1.67 North Dakota
46 1.67 Oklahoma
49 1.64 Louisiana
50 1.58 Mississippi

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Overview

Diet, Vegetables is the number of vegetables that adults consume on an average day. These data are collected biennially through the BRFSS surveillance system by the CDC. These data are from the 2013 BRFSS and match the 2014 Edition.  Because of the 2011 change in BRFSS methodology, estimates of vegetable consumption from the 2012 Edition onward cannot be directly compared to estimates from previous years (see Methodology).

Vegetable servings vary from a high of 2.2 servings per adult per day in California to a low of 1.6 servings per adult per day in Louisiana and Mississippi. Nationally, the median consumption is 1.9 servings per day for each adult.

Public Health Impact

Roughly half of US adults suffer from 1 or more preventable chronic diseases related to poor diet and physical inactivity.[1] The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 found that US adults consume an inadequate amount of important nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber. Vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals and are an excellent source of fiber. Diets high in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of many chronic diseases and assist with weight management. Unfortunately, US adults consume fruits about 1.1 times daily and vegetables about 1.6 times daily.[2]

Epidemiological data show that quantity rather than variety of fruit and vegetable intake is associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk.[3] The first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study showed a 27% reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular disease mortality and a 15% decrease in all-cause mortality in those who consumed fruits and vegetables 3 or more times daily compared with those who consumed fruits and vegetables less than once per day.[4]  Higher intake of fruits and vegetables is also associated with a lower risk of myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, and ischemic stroke.[5] These findings hold across categories of race, sex, education level, physical activity, smoking status, regular alcohol consumption, and diabetes status.[6]

When states have a higher density of healthy food retailers, farmers markets, and acceptance of nutrition-assistance program benefits by farmers markets, those states show a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables.[7] The USDA Economic Research Service estimates that 23.5 million Americans live in low-income and low-access-to-healthy-foods communities, also known as food deserts.[8] Food deserts contribute to a poor diet as well as higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Twenty-eight states have implemented farm-to-school programs that bring local fresh fruits and vegetables into public schools and child care centers. The USDA Economic Research Service provides an interactive tool to identify food deserts at the census-tract level. For populations that qualify as food deserts, funding from the USDA, US Department of the Treasury, and HHS is available to establish healthy retail outlets. ChooseMyPlate.gov, MyPlate, and MiPlato are visual tools that provide practical information on a healthy diet.

A Healthy People 2020 leading health indicator is to increase the contribution of vegetables to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older.



[1] U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015, Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State indicator report on fruits and vegetables 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/State-Indicator-Report-Fruits-Vegetables-2013.pdf. Accessed July 21, 2015.

[3] Bhupathiraju S, Tinker L, Dubowitz T, et al. Quantity and variety in fruit and vegetable intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk: the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). The FASEB Journal. 2015;29(1)(suppl):260.2.

[4] Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of cardiovascular disease in US adults: the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2002;76:93-99.

[5] Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of cardiovascular disease in US adults: the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2002;76:93-99.

[6] Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of cardiovascular disease in US adults: the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2002;76:93-99.

[7] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State indicator report on fruits and vegetables 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/State-Indicator-Report-Fruits-Vegetables-2013.pdf. Accessed July 21, 2015.

[8] USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Food deserts. http://apps.ams.usda.gov/fooddeserts/fooddeserts.aspx. Accessed July 21, 2015.