While studies have shown that daily recommendations of fruits of vegetables are hardly met, a new research has uncovered that children and teens in the U.S. love apples the most when compared to other available fruits. While this is good news, variety would be even better.
- Over half of fruit consumption comes in the form of whole fruits
- Raw apples were the most popular at 19%
- Citrus juices were the most popular pure drinks, with 14%
- Apples are a healthy choice, but a diversified pallet is recommended
According to a study conducted on 3,100 children between the ages of 2 and 18 years old, whole fruits made up for 53% for the total fruit consumption, with 34% from pure fruit juices, and the rest from mixed beverages.
Researchers took the tally on which fruit won, which was most popular and in what form. According to lead author of the study Kirsten Herrick from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, almost overwhelmingly, apples won, taking up to near 30% of the entire pallet of available fruits.
Apples eaten as whole fruits occupied the first slot with 19%, followed by citrus juice at 14%, and then once again apples taking a stand with apple juice at 10% on third place. The top choice of fruits continued with bananas and melons, according to the study. The researchers have stated that apples are a good option, “but there are a rainbow of fruits to consider” which will provide different vitamins and minerals required for good health.
A regular consumption of fruits has been linked to decreasing the risk of diabetes, cancer, stroke, and many other deadly conditions. Regardless of these impacting benefit, a previous study has shown that only 40% of children in the United States meet the daily recommendations of 1 to 2 cups of fruit per day, as guidelines offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The study did not find any change in preference between gender or financial status, but there have been differences among ethnicities and ages. For example, African-American children were more likely to drink fruit juice and less likely to eat it as a whole in comparison to other races. Kids of Asian heritage seemed to be the exact opposite, the most likely to consume the whole fruit and the least likely to drink juice.
According to Herrick, it’s uncertain why these differences exist, but their ethnic culture and the availability of fruit might play major roles.
While it is good news that children and teenagers are favoring the healthier option of eating the whole fruit, Bonnie Braun, a nutritionist at the University of Maryland has stated that, while the news is welcomed, parents should encourage their children to diversify their fruit pallet, and do so themselves in order to set a good example.
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