In the United States, children overwhelmingly prefer apples to any other fruit, according to a new study.
The study’s results, which were published in the journal Pediatrics, show that apples account for nearly 19 percent of the fruit intake of youths ages 2 to 19.
Researchers behind the study, from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, analyzed data on 2 to 19-year-olds from the 2011 and 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers then combined this data, from which they extracted information on over 3,100 youths, with the What We Eat in America 150 food groups and the Food Patterns Equivalents Database in order to calculate the percentage of 12 discrete fruit and fruit juices, whole fruit, mixed fruit dishes and 100 percent fruit juices to total fruit consumption.
The researchers behind the study — who examined age, race, Hispanic origin, poverty status, and gender based differences in fruit intake — noted differences in the intake of berries, melons, dried fruit, citrus fruits and various fruit juices among different races and Hispanic origins.
On average, nearly 90 percent of the total fruit intake of the youths examined in the study came from whole fruits and 100 percent fruit juices, with whole fruits accounting for 53 percent and fruit juices accounting for the other 34 percent.
Half of the total fruit consumption of those analyzed was derived from bananas, citrus juice, apple juice and good old fashioned apples.
In total, the researchers found that just 12 items accounted for 86.4 percent of the fruit consumption of American children, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The findings of the study “provide some insight into what fruits children are eating and socioeconomic factors that may influence what fruit children want to eat and are being provided to eat,” according to an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) press release which accompanied the study.
In other news, the USDA approved the first genetically modified apples to be sold in the United States.