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Healthy Eating in America’s 100 Largest Cities

The ACSM American Fitness Index, supported by the Anthem Foundation, ranks the 100 largest cities in America on a variety of personal and community health indicators, including number of farmers markets and fruit & vegetable consumption.

The 2020 rankings  revealed that these cities average 18.7 farmers markets per 1,000,000 residents, with Washington, D.C.,  topping  the list with 82.6 farmers markets per 1,000,000 residents.  Farmers markets are not only an essential resource for access to fresh produce, but they also stimulate the local economy. Check out tips for shopping seasonally at your local farmers market here.  Need assistance locating your nearest farmers market?  Use this handy search tool from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

farmers markets per 1M residents, top 10 list

 

When it comes to fruit and vegetable consumption,  many  of the ranked cities fall significantly below the recommend serving intake. Adults are recommended to consume at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit each day.   The average rate of residents meeting these recommendations across the ranked cities in 16.3% and 33.5%, respectively.  Three cities rank in the top 10 for both indicators:  Nashville, Tn., Arlington, Va.,  and San Jose, Ca.

 

Why you need to be shopping at the farmers market

It’s National Farmers Market Week (August 3-9)! As a measure of access to fresh fruits and vegetables with the most nutrients, the ACSM American Fitness Index® considers the number of farmers markets in each metro area.

Farmers markets can provide fresh and locally grown produce to metro areas where access to healthy food can be limited.  Produce that travels thousands of miles to make it to the supermarket looses freshness and nutritional quality. Buying local ensures produce is available to you at its prime freshness and nutritional value.

Farmers markets also provide a great excuse to get in some walking, carrying groceries and meet people in your community.

Need more reasons to visit your local farmers market?

Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Shop at a Farmers Market according to Nutrition.gov.

10.  Farmers markets are easy to find.

9.  SNAP and WIC cards are accepted at most farmers markets.

8.  You can try a new fruit or vegetable!

7.  Farmers often have good recommendations on ways to prepare their products.

6.  Buy foods and see how they fit with ChooseMyPlate.

5.  Farmers markets can be important anchors for vibrant communities.

4.  It’s a great way to get your kids involved.

3.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

2.  Shopping at farmers markets supports your local farmers and keeps the money you spend closer to home.

1.Freshly picked ripe food is at its peak in flavor and nutrition.

target goal

The report scores the number of farmers’ markets in a metro areas based on the target goal of 13.100 per 1,000,000 residents.  How did your MSA do in 2014?