The evidence is clear: Poor diets have a significant impact on overall health and disease risk, and when defining healthy diets, the importance of fruit and vegetable intake is well-established in the scientific literature and in United States food and nutrition policy.
Despite well-established evidence on the health and wellness benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, nine out of 10 Americans do not eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables each day. Given its commitment to comprehensive consumption research, the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), in partnership with Nutrition On Demand (NOD), released the DRAFT Fruit & Vegetable Gap Analysis: Bridging The Disparity Between Federal Spending & America’s Consumption Crisis report, which for the first time ever, will be open for a 30-day public comment period. Public comments will be considered for integration into the report’s final analysis, results, and recommendations, which will be issued later in 2022.
“We are experiencing a chronic fruit and vegetable consumption crisis in America that is affecting our health, our society and our economy. The Fruit & Vegetable Gap Analysis illuminates several opportunities to increase the focus on fruits and vegetables within all levels of government research, feeding and nutrition education initiatives to meaningfully address America’s consumption gap and improve public health,” stated Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, President & CEO of PBH.
The approach to the Fruit & Vegetable Gap Analysis represents a robust and collaborative effort that includes subject matter experts, as well as key thought and opinion leaders. With a combined 15+ years of government service, the NOD senior leadership team led the data collection, analysis, and insight generation in partnership with the PBH – the key change agent in the movement to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. Specifically, the analysis assesses publicly available government data to examine how key government agencies currently fund efforts to assist Americans with increasing their consumption of fruits and vegetables – and, importantly, identifies gaps and opportunities to enhance these initiatives to ensure federal spending aligns with current dietary guidance.
“Fruits and vegetables are consistently two of the most under-consumed food groups in America – yet Congress largely does not earmark funds for their promotion. This has a significant trickle-down effect on the Departments and Agencies responsible for promoting public health and, ultimately, the consumer,” says Shelley Maniscalco, MPH, RDN, founder and owner of Nutrition On Demand. “This report strives to be as transparent and detailed as possible so that it can be replicated and utilized by others. In addition, all public comments are encouraged. We want to hear from all who feel strongly about improving public health through fruits and vegetables.”
The most recent Fruit & Vegetable Gap Analysis is rooted in the 2010 and 2015 GAP Analyses, yet does not directly replicate the previous studies as data sources and the current environment warrant new methodological approaches.
The DRAFT Fruit & Vegetable Gap Analysis report is now open for a 30-day public comment period and can be accessed at: https://fruitsandveggies.org/gapanalysis/.
All vested stakeholders committed to improving public health through fruit and vegetable consumption are encouraged to review the report and submit comments, either in the body of an email or as an attachment (with all relevant scientific research and references also attached to support perspectives as necessary) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, February 4, 2022.
About the Produce for Better Health Foundation
Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is the only national organization dedicated to helping consumers live happier, healthy lives by eating more fruits and vegetables, including fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice, every single day.
Since 1991, PBH has invested decades into developing trended insights on attitudes toward all forms of fruit and vegetable consumption, in addition to campaigns and partnerships with government, food industry stakeholders, health professionals and other thought leaders to collaborate, facilitate and advocate for increased intake. Campaigns included first, the 5-A-Day program, and then, the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters public health initiative. While five fruits and vegetables each day is great advice, and more will always matter, PBH’s new behavior-based call-to-action is Have A Plant®. Rooted in behavioral science, PBH’s transformative Have A Plant® Movement is an invitation that will inspire people with compelling reasons to believe in the powerful role fruits and vegetables can play to create happy, healthy and active lives.
Be sure to join the Have A Plant® Movement and get new recipes, snack hacks, meal ideas and other tips from chefs, registered dietitians, as well as food and wellness experts by visiting www.fruitsandveggies.org. Follow us on Facebook @fruitsandveggies; on Twitter @fruits_veggies; on Instagram @fruitsandveggies; on Pinterest @fruits_veggies; and on LinkedIn at Produce for Better Health Foundation. And remember to #haveaplant.
PBH is also responsible for the Lead The Change Movement — a multi-sector, multi-year initiative designed to maximize the power of PBH’s unique thought leadership position, widespread influencer network, credible scientific and market research, and, most importantly, its innovative members and partners, to lead a call-to-action for addressing the global fruit and vegetable consumption crisis. The initiative includes research, thought leadership and communication platforms to ensure the Movement speaks with One Purpose, One Voice and One Call-to-Action. For more information about the Lead The Change Movement visit: www.fruitsandveggies.org/leadthechange.
About Nutrition On Demand
Nutrition On Demand (NOD) is a Washington, DC-based consulting firm specializing in nutrition science, policy, communications, and strategy. NOD’s multidisciplinary team of registered dietitian nutritionists have extensive expertise in Dietary Guidelines for Americans development and implementation, food assistance programs, government relations, coalition-building, research and evaluation, omnichannel marketing, food retail, school nutrition, technology, and consumer and marketplace trends. NOD delivers exemplary, strategic support by bringing energy, expertise, and excellence to each and every collaboration and project. Visit www.nutritionondemand.net for policy and implementation insights on demand from a team of government insiders. Follow us on LinkedIn at Nutrition On Demand and Instagram @nutritionondemand.