Produce for Better Health Foundation Discusses Decline in Fresh Produce Consumption in Aging Adults at Two Active Aging Week Events
BRENTWOOD, MO - Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is encouraging every age group to enjoy their fruits and veggies and to bring their palate for produce with them as they age. During Active Aging Week (September 23-29) and Fruits and Veggies-More Matters® Month, PBH hosted two digital events that addressed research and solutions to inspire more consumers to eat their fruits and vegetables.
“Historically, adults over 50 have been the most faithful and prolific consumers of fruits and vegetables. When we learned that older Americans were eating fewer fruits and vegetables, we were surprised and immediately knew we had to help reverse this course,” said Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, PBH’s President and CEO, whose mission is to increase Americans’ daily consumption of fruit and vegetables for better health and well-being. “We started to dig deeper and collaborate with our partners to identify ways to counter this trend and help this population live healthier and happier lives.”
Research from PBH shows adults 50+ have demonstrated double-digit declines in their fruit and vegetable intake at all three main meals, including a 12-percent decrease in vegetable consumption and 11-percent decrease in fruit consumption, according to a press release. Overall, fewer people consume fruit at any time of the day or with desserts and consume one less serving of vegetables each week, per capita, due to less veggie-based side dishes.
PBH touched on these research findings—as well as recent consumer data and resources focused on closing the consumption gap among older Americans—during its two Active Aging Week events.
The first event was a Tweet Chat, hosted by Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN, founder of Active Eating Advice, that allowed industry partners, health professionals, and consumers to participate in a #MoreMatters discussion.
The second event included a one-hour consumer research webinar, Getting Better with Age (Hint: Start by Eating Fruits and Vegetables!), that featured nutrition expert and PBH food and nutrition communications consultant, Shelley Maniscalco, MPH, RDN, and Alex Lewin-Zwerdling, PhD, of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation. During the webinar, Maniscalco and Zwerdling discussed produce consumption trends, PBH’s research conducted in partnership with the AARP Foundation, insights about older Americans’ health and nutrition knowledge, concerns and purchasing behaviors like online shopping, and more.
“Active Aging Week was the perfect time to join forces with the IFIC Foundation and combine our consumer insights and expertise. During our webinar and tweet chat, we identified opportunities to reach older adults in strategic, meaningful ways and helped them increase their fruit and vegetable intake,” said Reinhardt Kapsak.
Throughout the month of September, PBH partnered with the Food Marketing Institute Foundation to create social and digital experiences to inspire families to prepare and share fruit and vegetable filled meals at home, as well as created resources and in-store programs for the industry to use with shoppers and consumers, available here.
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