Children are not getting enough fruits and vegetables, putting their health in jeopardy. Teaching them smart lifestyle choices early on can increase their chances of adopting healthy choices later on in adulthood, while boosting the agricultural industry.
Most Children Do Not Eat Their Recommended Intake of Fruit and Vegetables
Research has shown that children around the world frequently fail to eat a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables. In fact, according to some estimates, only 6% of children consume the recommended amount of vegetables. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) similarly estimates that only 7% of children consume enough vegetables and 40% consume enough fruit.
Unfortunately, these habits often persist into adulthood. Teaching children healthy eating habits early in life, on the other hand, appears to lead to healthy eating choices later in life, which may protect them from developing diet-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, cancer, metabolic disorders, and even mental health illnesses.
There is thus a real and pressing need to encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables at a young age in order to help children establish healthy habits for life.
Demand for Fruit and Vegetables Has Flatlined
Preventing children from developing poor eating habits may also aid in addressing the issue of flatlining demand for fruits and vegetables, which is causing major concerns in the agricultural industry.
Despite the growing global population, demand for vegetables has slowed in recent years. This trend is expected to continue and worsen in the coming years, particularly as Chinese demand falls. This downward trend concerns the global agricultural industry, which was worth $9602.79 billion in 2020 and employed slightly more than a quarter of the world's workforce.
Addressing plateauing demand for produce is key to ensuring future growth for one of the world’s most important industries. Experts estimate that encouraging children to eat just an extra half a serving of vegetables per day could translate to a 20,000 tonne-increase in annual demand.
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