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Health Indicator Report of Nutrition - Adult Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other compounds that may help prevent many chronic diseases. Compared with people who consume a diet with only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers (1). Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss (1). Fruits and vegetables can also help people to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, because they are relatively low in energy density (2). To promote health and prevent chronic diseases, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults eat 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables per day for a standard 2,000 calorie diet, with varying recommendations based on an individual's age, gender, and activity level (3).

Percentage of Adults Who Reported Consuming 5+ Fruits and Vegetables Each Day by County, New Mexico, 2013, 2015, 2017


The fruit and vegetable (5-a-Day) consumption questions were administered only in odd years.   **Data were not available for some counties due to insufficient numbers of people (fewer than 50) from those counties who were surveyed in the BRFSS. The county-level BRFSS data used for this indicator report were weighted to be representative of the New Mexico Health Region populations. Had the data been weighted to be representative of each county population, the results would likely have been different.

Data Sources

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with New Mexico Department of Health, Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau.
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BRFSS Prevalence and Trends Data, [].

Data Interpretation Issues

Data for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Mexico adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. Lastly and importantly, these changes mean that the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and beyond. Please see the [ BRFSS Method Change Factsheet]. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage.


Percentage of adults who report consuming fruits and vegetables five or more times per day.


Number of adults who report consuming fruits and vegetables five or more times per day


Number of adults in the survey sample

Healthy People Objective: NWS-15, Increase the variety and contribution of vegetables to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older

U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Other Objectives

Additional relevant HP2020 objectives: NWS-14: Increase the contribution of fruits to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older NWS-15.1: Increase the contribution of total vegetables to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older NWS-15.2: Increase the contribution of dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, and legumes to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older New Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)

How Are We Doing?

The majority of New Mexico adults do not consume 5+ servings of fruits and vegetables a day. American Indians were significantly more likely to consume 5+ servings per day than Hispanics and Whites, and women were significantly more likely to consume 5+ servings per day than men.

What Is Being Done?

The NM Department of Health (NMDOH) Obesity, Nutrition, and Physical Activity Program; the NMDOH Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program; the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDIPR), and NM State University are coordinating efforts to provide monthly scheduled nutrition education through food tastings and cooking demonstrations for WIC and FDIPR recipients using fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Evidence-based Practices

For people to make healthy food choices, healthy food options must be available and accessible. Families living in low-income neighborhoods and rural areas of the state often have less access to healthier food and beverage choices than those in more urban, higher-income areas. Below are some strategies communities may use to support healthy eating (4): - Making healthy food choices available and affordable in public venues - Restricting availability of less healthy options in public venues - Improve geographic availability of supermarkets in underserved areas - Provide incentives to food retailers to locate in and/or offer healthier food and beverage choices in underserved areas - Improve availability of mechanisms for purchasing goods from farms - Provide incentives for the production, distribution, and procurement of foods from local farms - Limit advertisements of less healthy foods and beverages

Available Services

Produce for Better Health, Fruits & Veggies--More Matters Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Page Content Updated On 12/19/2018, Published on 12/28/2018
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Content updated: Fri, 28 Dec 2018 17:07:08 MST