A new survey reveals that apples are the favorite fruit of American children, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all fruit consumption.
It’s almost apple harvest season in many American states, and that’s good news for kids across the country. According to a recent report from Philly.com, a new study shows that apples are by far the most popular fruit among kids and young adults in the United States.
A new study found that apples account for nearly 20 percent of all fruit consumed by the younger age groups in the U.S. When accounting for apple juice in addition to sliced or whole apples, the percentage is bumped even further to 30 percent of total fruit intake. The study was authored by Kirsten Herrick, a senior service fellow at the United States National Center for Health Statistics.
The research failed to pass a judgment on the number of apples eaten by American children, however. Apples are good for you, but there are a plethora of other fruits to choose from that contain a wide range of different necessary vitamins and minerals. Despite the fact that nearly 10 percent of apple intake is consumed in the form of juice, Herrick recommends that whole fruits be consumed at a much higher rate.
Diets that are full of fruits and vegetables are often linked to a healthy body weight, a lower risk of diabetes, stroke, cancers, and other deadly conditions that can be affected by your diet. Despite this fact, surveys from 2007 to 2010 revealed that just 40 percent of American children consumed the one to two cups of fruit each day recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture.
“In general, kids are not eating enough fruit,” Herrick says.
The new study shines a closer light on the types of fruits kids are eating. This information was previously unavailable to researchers looking to make better dietary recommendations.
The scientists in the study examined the responses to surveys taken from 2011 to 2012 on the fruit consumption habits of over 3,100 children between the ages of 2 to 19 years old. Researchers discovered that 52 percent of fruit consumption was attributable to whole fruits, while 100-percent fruit juices made 34 percent of total fruit consumption. The rest was attributed to mixed-fruit products and juices with less than 100 percent fruit.
Apples took the lead with 19 percent of total fruit consumption, and were followed by citrus juice at 14 percent, apple juice at 10 percent and other various fruit juices made up 9 percent of total consumption. The next most popular fruits, according to the survey, were bananas and melons. Interestingly, avocados, which are technically berries, were not included on the surveys because the database used in the study classified them as vegetables.
Fruit consumption patterns were consistent across gender and socioeconomic lines. African American children were less likely to consume whole fruits and more likely to drink fruit juice than children from other races, and Asian American kids consumed the most whole fruits and the least fruit juice. Herrick said the study authors couldn’t speak for these variances across ethnicities.
The study was published in the September 21 version of the journal Pediatrics. According to Bonnie Braun, a nutrition specialist and professor emerita at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, the study highlights one key fact – that children are better off when they eat more fruit. Parents should take extra care to make sure they set a good dietary example for their children, and to keep plenty of fruits around and available.