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Is Aging Gracefully an Attainable Goal? Fruit and Vegetables Can Boost Health and Happiness as We Age

September 24, 2018

BRENTWOOD, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep 24, 2018--There is little debate that eating enough fruits and vegetables can help people lead healthier and happier lives. Unfortunately, despite the well-established benefits of eating a variety of colorful produce, research from Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), shows adults 50+ have demonstrated double-digit declines in their fruit and vegetable intake over recent years. This includes a 12-percent decrease in vegetable consumption and an 11-percent decrease in fruit consumption. During Active Aging Week, September 23-29, which coincides with Fruits and Veggies-More Matters® Month, PBH will host two digital events to address these findings and provide solutions to encourage greater consumption.

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“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, President and CEO, PBH, 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.”

The research uncovered that older Americans are eating less fruit at all three main meals, especially lunch and dinner. In addition, fewer people eat fruit “as is” at any time of day or include fruit as part of their desserts. This group is also eating one fewer serving of vegetables each week, per capita, driven by a decrease in the number of side dishes served “as is” when eating dinner at home. Vegetable consumption at lunch is down as well, though there has been a slight increase in vegetables eaten at breakfast.

PBH will discuss 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. A Tweet Chat will take place on Tuesday, September 25, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and hosted by Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN, founder of Active Eating Advice. Industry partners, health professionals and consumers can participate using #MoreMatters.

The one-hour consumer research webinar, Getting Better with Age (Hint: Start by Eating Fruits and Vegetables! ), will take place on Wednesday, September 26, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. The webinar will feature 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. In addition to produce consumption trends, attitudes and drivers discovered in PBH research conducted in partnership with the AARP Foundation , the webinar will include insights about older Americans’ health- and nutrition knowledge, concerns and purchasing behaviors, including online shopping, from IFIC Foundation research, also conducted in partnership with the AARP Foundation, and in partnership with Abbott Nutrition.

“Active Aging Week is the perfect time to join forces with the IFIC Foundation and combine our consumer insights and expertise. During our webinar and tweet chat, we will identify opportunities to reach older adults in strategic, meaningful ways and help them increase their fruit and vegetable intake,” said Reinhardt Kapsak.

Active Aging Week also represents the culmination of Fruits and Veggies-More Matters® Month and National Family Meals Month™. Throughout the month of September, PBH has partnered with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Foundation, crafting social and digital experiences that inspire families to prepare and share meals at home, with fruits and vegetables filling half the plate. PBH and the FMI Foundation also created resources and in-store programs for the industry to use with shoppers and consumers, available at http://pbhfoundation.org/content/fruitsandveggiesmoremattersmonth.

Industry partners and health professionals can register here for the Getting Better with Age webinar at and learn more about PBH and Fruits and Veggies-More Matters® at www.FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.org.

About Produce for Better Health Foundation Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is the only national organization dedicated to increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables, in all forms (fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice).

Since 1991, PBH has invested decades into developing trended insights on attitudes toward all forms of fruit and vegetable consumption, in addition to campaigns and partnerships with government, food industry stakeholders, health professionals and other thought leaders to collaborate, facilitate and advocate for increased intake. Campaigns include first, the 5-A-Day program, and now, the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters public health initiative. Fruits & Veggies—More Matters is the nation’s largest public-private, fruit and vegetable nutrition education initiative. To learn more, visit  www.PBHFoundation.org  and  www.FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.org. Follow Fruits & Veggies—More Matters on  Facebook, Instagram  or  Twitter. PBH also chairs the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance (NFVA), consisting of government agencies, nonprofit organizations and industries working collaboratively to increase nationwide access and demand for fruit and vegetables in all forms for improved public health. To learn more, visit  www.NFVA.org.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180924005184/en/

CONTACT: Produce for Better Health Foundation

Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN

703-862-4070

President and CEO

wendy@pbhfoundation.org

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA MISSOURI

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: EDUCATION CONTINUING HEALTH FITNESS & NUTRITION COMMUNICATIONS MARKETING

SOURCE: Produce for Better Health Foundation

Copyright Business Wire 2018.

PUB: 09/24/2018 09:00 AM/DISC: 09/24/2018 09:01 AM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180924005184/en

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