What States Lust More Vegetables Will Amaze You

How Does New Vegetables Lust Research Shatter The Ceiling?

Which states lust after the most fruits and vegetables (F&V)? Are you thinking sunny, health crazed California, Hawaii and possibly super active Vermont rank the highest? Based on other polls you’ve seen about people and lifestyles did you also conclude that Mississippi and Alabama probably ranked at the bottom? Look below… Not the results you were expecting, right?

A different type of lust

Before continuing further, let me explain “lusting”. It’s a term used to describe not only the frequency with which people eat F & V, but also how easy it is to gain access to them as well. If two people eat the same amount of F&V the first one has a harder time finding them. Therefore, that first person is trying harder and lusting more than the other person.

Based on this unique ranking, we contend the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota and Nevada are the top 5 F&V lusters. At the bottom, with opportunity for improvement, we also find Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Virginia. Some surprises don’t you think?

Fruits and Vegetable Consumption

We all know F&V’s provide our bodies with important nutrients. They can help with weight management and lower the risk of developing many chronic illnesses. They are low in calories, high in vitamins, minerals, phytochemical, and fiber. Yet, as you probably also know, we do not eat enough of them. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that American adults eat vegetables 1.6 times/day and fruits 1.1 times/day. Unfortunately, people don’t eat 5-9 servings per day, as suggested.

As you can view directly below, courtesy of the CDC,  F&V consumption varies both from state to state and region to region too.  These statistics closely align with the overall health patterns we associate with the USA.

Many factors matter

However, looking at the “lusting” chart, further below, there’s a noticeable change. What factors contribute to this discrepancy?  Store availability and product price decidedly influence healthy food purchasing patterns. Other considerations include dietary intake, and weight status of individuals. Supermarkets carry items consumers buy. As the demographics of towns and even neighborhoods change so does inventory. Sometimes, this means fewer F&V’s are available for purchase. In extreme circumstances, towns become food deserts as well. This means residents have no fresh fruit, vegetables or other healthful whole foods available to them. Food deserts are usually found in impoverished areas and attributed to racially and socioeconomically discriminatory policies and patterns of development.

Handicapping consumption with access -> “Lust”

The relative unavailability of F&V’s controls the intake. The results are a handicapped measure technically dubbed F&V handicapped consumption(F&VHC) or “Lust Index”.  Comparing F&VC and F&VHC reveals which states crave more fruits and vegetables.

The table below highlights these ranks. We arbitrarily tagged states whose lust rank is at least three ahead of the consumption rank as “Lusting ”. It shows consumers are trying hard to procure fresh food and deserve their due recognition.


Heat maps are in, so here is ours. Green represents the best and red shows the worst. Way to shine Nevada!

Further work

Let us know what topic you would like to research. We excel at Excel! Don’t forget to share them with @kitchology, @kitchenchick123 and @recipecoach.

Appendix: Methodology

The F&V consumption(F&VC) is the sum of reported consumptions in the CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System section 9, calculated at the state level.

For each one of the 6530 census tracks, we captured the number of people with low access to supermarket, large grocery store or farmers market and the total population of each track. These numbers were added to create state totals and the ratio U of underserved/unserved population. U was mapped to a handicap H value per the formula H=1/(1-U). The rationale for this measure is that UFV is zero. The handicap equals one as all the residents of that state have easy access to fruits and vegetables. Therefore, if U is 1 (100%), then none of the residents have easy access and the handicap is infinite.

As a result, the F&V Handicapped Consumption (F&VHC) (aka Lust Index) is the product of F&VC by H.

Note! Data was not provided for Alaska and Hawaii through this study. Their respective health agendas will likely reach us, especially with a field trip involved. Kitchology has the raw processed data. Just send a message to  research@kitchology.com and we will be happy to share.

About Alain Briancon 12 Articles

Dr. Alain Briancon is the CEO and Co-Founder (with Iris Sherman) of Kitchology. He caught the startup bug in his forties and has been unable to shake it ever since.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.