Definitions – Fruits and Vegetables Consumption Visualization

Fruits and Vegetables

One serving of fruits and vegetables is equivalent to 0.5 cup.

Cup equivalent amounts of fruits and vegetables were obtained from the USDA Food Patterns Equivalent Database (FPED).

USDA FPED Fruit and Vegetable Components
FPED component Foods
Total Fruit Total intact fruits (whole or cut) and fruit juices
Citrus, Melons, and Berries Intact fruits (whole or cut) of citrus, melons, and berries
Other Fruits Intact fruits (whole or cut); excluding citrus, melons, and berries
Fruit Juice Fruit juices, citrus and non-citrus
Total Vegetables Total dark green, red and orange, starchy, and other vegetables; excludes legumes
Dark Green Vegetables Dark green vegetables
Total Red and Orange Vegetables Total red and orange vegetables (tomatoes and tomato products + other red and orange vegetables)
Tomatoes Tomatoes and tomato products
Other Red and Orange Vegetables Other red and orange vegetables, excluding tomatoes and tomato products
Total Starchy Vegetables Total starchy vegetables (white potatoes + other starchy vegetables)
Potatoes White potatoes
Other Starchy Vegetables Other starchy vegetables, excluding white potatoes
Other Vegetables Other vegetables not in the vegetable components listed above
Beans and Peas Beans and peas (legumes) computed as vegetables

*Starchy vegetables are counted to 0.42 cup/day only

Data Source and Methods

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 2003-2016 were used to create these visualizations. NHANES is a cross-sectional survey designed to monitor the health and nutritional status of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population using highly stratified, multistage probability designs. The survey consists of interviews conducted in participants’ homes and standardized health examinations conducted in mobile examination centers (MECs). During the MEC exam, a 24-hour dietary recall is administered in addition to medical and dental examinations, physiological measurements and laboratory tests. The 24-hour recalls are conducted in English or Spanish. These dietary interviews are conducted by dietary interviewers. Survey participants 12 years and older complete the dietary interview on their own. Proxy respondents report for children who are 5 years and younger and for other persons who cannot self-report. Proxy-assisted interviews are conducted with children 6-11 years of age. Beginning in 2002, all participants were asked to complete a second 24-hour dietary recall (Day 2) interview. The NHANES Day 2 dietary recalls are collected by telephone approximately 3 to 10 days after the MEC exam. Before NHANES 2002, a second 24-hour recall was collected on a small subset of participants.

NHANES Oversampling by Race/Ethnicity

For NHANES 1999-2006, oversampling was performed for Mexican American Hispanic persons. Consequently, the largest proportion Hispanic persons included in NHANES 1999-2006 were Mexican American. In 2007-2010, the sample design was changed to oversample all Hispanic persons. Additionally, Asians were oversampled starting in NHANES 2011-2014 in addition to the ongoing oversample of Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, older adults, and low income white and other persons. These changes in oversampling methodology influence interpretation of results for Hispanic populations across NHANES cycles and explain the limited data availability for Asian population in earlier NHANES cycles.

For more information about the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, please visit the NHANES website at: