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Missing from the Menu in Colorado

Missing from the Menu in Colorado

January 6, 2015

What’s on your plate? Among Coloradans, odds are there aren’t enough fruit and vegetables.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) new fact sheet – “Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Colorado” – gathers and analyzes recent data regarding food choices and eating habits, as well as related risk factors and health outcomes.

The data leave a lot to be desired – Coloradans, by and large, are not eating their peas and carrots. Overall, one in five adults in Colorado did not consume vegetables on a daily basis. More than half (55 percent) of high school students don’t eat fruit and vegetables every day.

So how can we improve? That’s where the Colorado Health Institute’s part of this collaboration picks up.

Recognizing that we have the data necessary to recognize gaps in food access and disparities in food choices and health outcomes, CHI presents this policy report. This paper outlines promising and proven strategies that can help Coloradans make healthier choices, boosting fruit and veggie consumption statewide.

Within our communities, food access can be improving or building new grocery stores in accessible areas, or adding fresh produce to corner stores shelves. And in our schools, gardens and farm to school programs can encourage even the pickiest of eaters to try new things and eat more fruits and vegetables. These trends are just a glimpse of the innovative, evidence-based policies that are being tested, nationwide, to make the healthier choice the easier choice.

This collaboration between CDPHE and CHI is part of a larger stakeholder initiative to support and encourage data-driven and evidence-based discussions about ways to promote Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) in Colorado.