American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association Support New Initiative to Encourage Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Alexandria,
March 23, 2007

The American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and American Heart Association strongly support a new public health initiative launched this week to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables. The initiative, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters™, reinforces the goals of the organizations’ shared health collaboration, the Preventive Health Partnership (PHP), which says eating a healthy diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables is an important step in reducing the risk of chronic disease.


Research indicates that more than half of adult consumers know they need to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but more than nine in ten Americans do not eat the recommended amount “Eating more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet can reduce the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke – and can further impact risk by helping with weight control,” says Dr. Richard Kahn, the American Diabetes Association’s chief scientific and medical officer.


Dr. Harmon Eyre, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, adds, “As the link between nutrition and health continues to unfold, the evidence is clear that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is an important step in reducing cancer risk. We are pleased to work with the Produce for Better Health Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to help spread the word: eating more fruits and vegetables really does matter in the quest for better health.”


The goal of this new initiative, to close the current gap between recommended and actual intake of fruits and vegetables, is an important one. Dr. Rose Marie Robertson, the chief science officer at the American Heart Association, says “Not only do we need to inspire young and old alike to eat more fruits and vegetables, but we also need to make it easier for them to do so by promoting changes in schools, worksites and communities that increase access to a wide variety of healthy produce. Working together, we can help consumers make better everyday choices for health.”


The American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association have been collaborating for several years now on a joint campaign called “Everyday Choices for a Healthier Life.” That effort is grounded in our common belief that eating well – along with being active, not smoking, and seeing your health care provider regularly – is your best defense against disease. For more information about these topics, please visit our joint website at www.everydaychoices.org.

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.