2010 Fruit and Vegetable National Action Plan

Articles
November 17, 2010

2010 Fruit and Vegetable National Action Plan

The National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance just released their 2010 report card

The National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance just released their 2010 report card, evaluating and offering updated strategies for public health programs, to increase produce consumption, which have been implemented or improved in the past five years. The report highlights the fact that the efforts and successes of a variety of stakeholders, impact America’s food choices and eating habits. Stakeholders include nutrition education and promotion, food growers and processors, supermarket retailers, restaurants and other food service establishments, schools and workplaces, as well as state and federal governments. All of these organizations have an important role to play in America’s fight against nutrition related chronic diseases and other health problems.
 
The 2010 National Action Plan Report Card outlines key research findings and assigns grades to strategies that have been in place since 2005.
 
Grade A: Met or exceeded goal

  • WIC Fruit & Vegetable Vouchers
  • Fruits & Veggies - More Matters Initiative
  • Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program

Grade B: Substantial progress towards goal

  • NIH Nutrition & Obesity Research

Grade C: Some progress towards goal

  • Restaurant Menus
  • School Food
  • CDC Budget

Grade D: Minimal progress

  • Reduced Advertising of Unhealthy Foods to Children
  • Children’s Fruit & Vegetable Consumption
  • Disease- Prevention & Wellness in Health Care
  • Agriculture Policy Alignment with Health Policy

Grade F: Moving away from target

  • Adult Fruit & Vegetable Consumption
  • Advertising of Healthy Foods
  • Teen Fruit & Vegetable Consumption
  • Cost of Inadequate Fruit & Vegetable Consumption

Tailored recommendations for each strategy are outlined in the report card. Overall the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance believes that in order to close the gap between actual and recommended fruit and vegetable intake, the following recommendations are critical.
Increase the accessibility of fruits and vegetables in communities, schools, worksites, and restaurants. An example would be to expand the number of vending machines offering healthy food choices, making fruits and vegetable more accessible to people of all ages and/or doubling the number of fruit and vegetable items on restaurant menus.

Strengthen nutrition education programs and promotion efforts that give consumers the skills and motivation they need to make better food choices. An example would be to reduce the marketing of low-nutrition foods, and increase marketing of nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables, and/or increase nutrition education as a percent of federal nutrition assistance programs, including the use of effective marketing techniques. 

Align federal funding priorities to be consistent with federal Dietary Guidelines.  I.e., double the current amount of USDA spending on fruits and vegetables to align funding with the priority given to this food group in dietary recommendations. 
 
The Lempert Report applauds the transparency and desire to make all food and health programs more effective so that behavior change is possible for the entire population. We urge all food retailers to review the findings and support these programs in all of their store promotions and advertisements, as well as working on making the next report card straight As. Help make the healthy choice, the easy and desirable choice. 
 
To view the full National Action Plan to Promote Health Through Increased Fruit and Vegetable Consumption 2010 Report Card, visitwww.NFVA.org