We explored how Americans aged ≥2 years who consumed the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables on a given day incorporated fruits and vegetables into their diet compared with those who did not consume recommended amounts.
We used 1 d of dietary recall data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2010 to examine cross-sectional differences in mean intakes of fruits and vegetables in cup-equivalents by meal, source and form between the two groups.
NHANES 2007–2010 participants aged ≥2 years (n 17 571) with 1 d of reliable 24 h recall data.
On a given day, the proportions of fruits and vegetables consumed at different meals were similar between those who consumed recommended amounts and those who did not. Among adults, 59–64 % of their intake of fruits was consumed at breakfast or as a snack and almost 90 % came from retail outlets regardless of whether they consumed the recommended amount or not. Adults who consumed the recommended amount of fruits ate more fruits in raw form and with no additions than those who did not. Among children and adults, 52–57 % of vegetables were consumed at dinner by both groups. Retail outlets were the main source of vegetables consumed (60–68 %).
Our findings indicate that habits of when, where and how consumers eat fruits and vegetables might not need to change but increasing the amount consumed would help those not currently meeting the recommendation.
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