Recommended fruit and vegetable intake not being met by families

Today approximately one in five school-aged children in the U.S. are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A child with a body mass index above the 95th percentile is considered obese and the number of children with obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. A new study from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center adds to this startling fact, finding that only 17 percent of U.S. children are eating enough fruits and vegetables.

The study saw researchers observe 400 preschool children’s diets and physical activity for 24 hours. Only one child met the recommended guidelines to prevent childhood obesity. The 5-2-1-0 guidelines, which has been nationally promoted in both the U.S. and Canada, recommends the following:

5: At least five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

2: Less than two hours of screen time per day.

1: At least one hour of physical activity every day.

0: Zero sugar-sweetened drinks.

The study found that the recommendation hardest for families to reach was the fruit and vegetable intake. As a mom of two school-aged children I can relate to how hard it can be to have healthy snacks on hand when we’re living in our vehicle between school pickup, playdates, hockey games, soccer practice, swimming lessons and dance rehearsals. That’s what I love most about the first product form of Arctic® apples – the convenient grab ‘n go bag full of fresh-cut, nonbrowning apple slices makes it so easy and means there’s no more excuses. Studies also show that children are significantly more likely to consume fruit if it’s sliced. One of our main goals with Arctic® apples is to boost apple consumption and we hope we can play a part in helping families reach the fruit and vegetable guidelines that are so vital to our children’s health.

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