Americans Ate Less Healthy in 2011

Despite high access to affordable fruits and vegetables, Americans reported less healthy eating habits in 2011, reinforcing the idea that they make poor lifestyle choices when it comes to food.

Americans’ healthy eating habits declined last year, which may have been a result of slightly less access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a Gallup poll.

The poll showed that in 2011, 66.1% reported eating healthy “yesterday” and only 56% had five or more servings of fruits and vegetables in at least four of the last seven days. These figures are down from 67.7% and 57.1%, respectively.

So far in 2012, Americans have been reporting slightly healthier eating when comparing the first three months of this year to the same time last year. Also, Americans reported slightly more exercise for January, February and March.

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The unusually warm winter weather, the fourth warmest on U.S. record, could be a contributing factor to the increased level of produce consumption and exercise,” Gallup reported.

However, while less Americans reported access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, an overwhelming majority do have access. In 2011, 90.8% reported it was easy to get affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, compared to 92.3% in 2010.

Unsurprisingly, the high access only reinforces the fact that Americans’ poor health related to healthy eating

— such as obesity, type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease

is a result of poor lifestyle choices more than anythingn else.

These lifestyle choices might only get worse as less Americans reported easy access to affordable fruits and vegetables in the beginning of 2012 when compared to the beginning of 2011.