Review of Fruit & Vegetable Food System in South Dakota: Application and Policy Suggestions for Other Rural States
Insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables has been recognized as a possible reason for dietary deficiencies that contribute to rising chronic health issues and medical costs. Based on data generated by the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), South Dakota was listed as one of five states with the lowest daily adult vegetable intake (1.5 times per day). To continue the effort to promote a healthy diet, three independent surveys were developed and distributed to consumers, grocers, and growers (producers) to investigate factors that affected low consumption of fruits and vegetables and to identify opportunities to increase future consumption. To highlight the influences of geographic and socioeconomic disadvantages on fruit and vegetable consumption, the surveys specifically included the consideration of consumers’ income; access and preparation of available fruits and vegetables; preparation skills and available time; perceptions of fresh, canned, and frozen products; and knowledge and role fruits and vegetables play in prevention of chronic disease in the sample selection and data analysis. Survey respondents were divided into two regions: non-food desert (Region 1) and food desert (Region 2). This paper provides a summary of the survey results and policy suggestions generated based on our findings.
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