A study conducted regarding fruit consumption of U.S. youth showed that apples are the favorite fruit of children and teenagers, accounting for almost 20 percent of their total fruit consumption, Health Day reports.
Analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2011 to 2012, which involved 3,129 children and teenagers aged two to 19 years old, the researchers calculated how much whole fruit, mixed fruit juices and 12 specific fruits and fruit juices contributed to the kids' total fruit consumption.
Results showed that 53 percent of all fruit intake came from whole fruits. Fruit juices accounted for 34 percent of the total fruit consumption. Apples ranked first as the kids' fruit of choice; apples and apple juice constitute about 30 percent of the total fruit consumption.
Lead study author Kirsten Herrick, senior service fellow at the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, said kids are not eating enough fruit. She said they need to eat fruits with more variety.
Herrick also emphasized the importance of eating whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices because whole fruits provide more fiber.
To achieve healthy weight and decrease the risk of developing illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, kids must have a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. However, data from 2007 to 2010 showed that only 40 percent of these kids are eating one to two cups of fruit per day, which is the recommended amount per the Department of Agriculture, Herrick explained, according to Live Science.
"Scientists and nutritionists seem to have consensus around one key message: Eat a variety of fruits in multiple colors," she told HealthDay. "Their second key message is: The more whole fruits, the better."
The study was published online in the Sept. 21 issue of the journal Pediatrics.