Recommendations to improve nutrition behaviors follow the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are the federal government’s evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity. The 2015 Guidelines focus on balancing calories with physical activity, and encourage Americans to consume more healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood, and to consume less sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and refined grains.

Despite federal guidelines encouraging Americans to consume more fruits and vegetables, fewer energy-dense foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, current data suggest that the majority of Nebraska adults and youth do not meet recommendations. According to the 2009 Nebraska Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, less than one in four adults consumed five or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day in 2009. Similarly, the 2010 Nebraska Youth Risk Behavioral Survey found that only one in four high school students ate fruit at least twice per day and only one in nine ate vegetables at least three times per day. In addition, nearly one in three adolescent males and one in four adolescent females reported drinking a can, bottle, or glass of soda/pop at least once per day.

In Nebraska, men, younger adults, adults with less than a college degree, and adults with relatively lower household income are less likely to report consuming five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Healthy eating can be incorporated in several different venues, including schools, worksites, early care and education, and the community. Please follow the links before to learn more.