On Colorado's Plate: Room for Healthier Habits

As Colorado strives to become the healthiest state, the daily intake of fruits, vegetables, fast food and sugary drinks becomes a key measure of success or failure. And the data show that there’s much room for improvement. Most Coloradans do not eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. Many kids consume too much fast food, and a third of all adults drink too many sugary drinks. Many also struggle to afford nutritious food for themselves or their children. Policies and programs that expand access to affordable, fresh food could help encourage healthier habits for all Coloradans.


Colorado's Plate Body Image 1


Colorado's Plate Body Image 2


Colorado's Plate Body Image 3


Colorado's Plate Body Image 4


Data analysis by Sara Schmitt and Tamara Keeney and graphics by Brian Clark of the Colorado Health Institute.

Sources and Notes

Fruits and Vegetables
Sources: Adult fruit and vegetable consumption: 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. Child fruit and vegetable consumption: 2013 Colorado Child Health Survey.
Notes: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment calculated the percentage of Colorado adults meeting age and gender recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate ( www.choosemyplate.gov).

Sugary drinks
Source: 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey.
Notes: The American Heart Association recommends that Americans consume no more than 450 calories (36 ounces) per week from sugar-sweetened beverages, based on a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet ( http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/ HealthyDietGoals/Frequently-Asked-Questions-About-Sugar_UCM_306725_Article.jsp).

Kids and Fast Food
Source: 2010-2012 Colorado Child Health Survey.
Notes: Regional percentages were not tested for statistical significance against the state percentage.

Source: Adult affordability: 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. Parent affordability: 2013 Colorado Child Health Survey. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program enrollment: SNAP State Activity Report, Fiscal Year 2013.
Notes: Colorado’s fiscal year 2013 monthly SNAP participation was 507,000. The one-in-10 estimate is based on total population of 5 million.


This article was originally published in the Fall 2014 issue of Health Elevations.

Press enter / return on your keyboard to search