Feb 22, 2023 - News

Half of Texan kids don't eat a daily veggie, CDC finds

Data: Heather C. Hamner et al., 2023, Fruit, Vegetable, and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake Among Young Children, by State; Map: Axios Visuals

Texas kids need to step up their fruit and veggie intake.

Driving the news: About half of kids in Texas did not eat a daily vegetable in the prior week, the CDC reported last week.

Yes, but: Kids in Texas are better about eating their fruit, with around 70% of children getting at least one fruit in their daily diets.

Of note: About 69% drank a sugar-sweetened beverage at least once in the prior week.

Why it matters: While this data is only a snapshot in time, it offers a glimpse at the quality of kids' diets — which impacts their growth and development — at a time of increased interest in addressing childhood nutrition, as well as concerns about the pending loss of pandemic-era food benefits, Axios' Tina Reed reports.

Details: Researchers examined more than 18,000 responses from parents to the 2021 National Survey of Children's Health regarding what their kids between the ages of 1 and 5 consumed in the previous week.

  • Nationally, just under half (49.1%) said their child did not eat a daily vegetable, and 32.1% said their child didn't consume a daily fruit.
  • Meanwhile, 57.1% indicated their child had consumed a sugar-sweetened beverage at least once in the prior week.

Between the lines: There were a number of differences by race and ethnicity. For instance, the percentage of those who did not consume a daily fruit or vegetable was greatest among non-Hispanic Black children.

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