What is the 5-A-Day Program?
The 5-A-Day for Better Health Program is a nationwide nutrition education campaign to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to an average of 5 to 9 servings a day. The 5-A-Day Program was launched in 1991 and is a public-private partnership of the National Cancer Institute, the Produce for Better Health Foundation (a non-profit consumer education foundation representing the fruit and vegetable industry), USDA, CDC, the American Cancer Society and other national health organizations.
Why is 5 A Day important?
- Eating 5 or more fruits and vegetables daily is one of the most important choices an individual can make to maintain health.
- Research shows that eating 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day plays an important role in preventing heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, stroke and birth defects.
- Healthier diets (including 5 A Day) could prevent at least $71 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity and lost lives.
- Fruits and vegetables can also increase energy and assist in weight loss.
- As a bonus, fruits and vegetables are tasty, convenient, easy and quick to prepare.
Are students eating their 5 A Day? No!
- Fewer than 15% of elementary students eat the recommended 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Average fruit and vegetable intake among 6 to 12 year olds is only 2.4 servings a day
- Over half of all elementary students eat no fruit on any given day and three out of 10 students eat less than one serving of vegetables a day.
- One-quarter of all vegetables eaten by elementary students are French fries, a high-fat, low nutrient vegetable option.