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Nutrition Noteworthy

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Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by Low-Income Americans


Low-income Americans consume fewer total fruits and vegetables daily than the average for Americans of all incomes. Fruit and vegetable consumption by the poor is affected by many factors, including access, availability, cost, taste, convenience, and perishability. Cost is of higher relative importance to low-income Americans than the rest of the population. In 2000, low-income households spent less money per person on fruits and vegetables than wealthier Americans but spent a similar percentage of their at-home food budget on fruits and vegetables. This suggests that the poor are not sacrificing fruit and vegetable expenditures in order to purchase other types of food at home but rather spend less money on fruits and vegetables at home because they spend less money on total food at home. Efforts to improve fruit and vegetable consumption by low-income Americans should address the factors affecting consumption uncovered by researchers.

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