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Dietary Shift
March 2011
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Home Preparation of Fresh Veggies on the Decline

DietaryShiftA new U.S. Department of Agriculture study reports that households headed by older generations spend more money per person on fresh vegetables prepared at home than their younger counterparts. After accounting for income and other demand factors, its Economic Research Service found that households headed by a person born in 1960 spent 66 cents per week less than those with a household head born in 1930. Younger generations continue to spend different amounts in each subsequent age point, with the youngest spending the least.

Because of younger people’s continued reliance on convenience foods, the researchers project that, as they age, they will spend more on fresh grocery veggies than they do now, but when they reach their parent’s current age, they will still spend less on such foods than their parents do now. Several mainstream health advocacy organizations now promote consumption of plant-based foods, aiming to turn this trend around; they include the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Johns Hopkins University and American Heart Association.