Avignon, France, October 20, 2009 — Decades of studies have documented the link between eating a diet rich in vegetables and multiple health benefits, yet nearly eight out of 10 people worldwide fall short of the daily recommendation. Research presented at the International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables suggests the best approach may be to focus on the factors that are often behind this vegetable gap: convenience and enjoyment.
Two studies presented at the symposium found that the addition of vegetable juice in people’s diets was a successful strategy to help them reach the vegetable guidelines (at least 4 servings per day). In fact, the addition of a portable drink, such as V8® 100% vegetable juice, was more successful than an approach that focused solely on nutrition education, or offering dietary counseling on ways to increase vegetable intake.
Researchers at the University of California-Davis conducted a 12-week study among adults ages 40-65 years. All of the people in the study who drank at least two cups of vegetable juice met daily vegetable recommendations, yet only seven percent of the non-juice drinkers met the goal. The participants in the study with borderline high blood pressure who drank one to two servings of V8 juice lowered their blood pressure significantly.
According to the research, the vegetable juice drinkers said they enjoyed the juice and felt like they were doing something good for themselves by drinking it.
“Enjoyment is so critical to developing eating habits you can stick with for the long-term,” said study co-author Carl Keen, PhD, Professor of Nutrition and Internal Medicine at the University of California-Davis. “Health and nutrition professionals must help people find simple ways for people to get their vegetables or they simply won’t do it, and that means they won’t reap the benefits of a vegetable-rich diet. Vegetable juice is something that people enjoy, plus it’s convenient and portable, which makes it simple to drink every day.”
Research conducted at the Baylor College of Medicine revealed that drinking vegetable juice helped overweight individuals with metabolic syndrome lose more weight compared to non-juice drinkers. In the study, participants who drank one to two servings of Low Sodium V8® 100% vegetable juice a day as part of a balanced diet increased their vegetable intake and lost an average of four pounds over the 12-week study period. Those who did not drink juice lost only one pound.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes that includes excess body fat in the midsection, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and elevated blood cholesterol.
“Heart disease and obesity are two major global health issues today, so if we can provide people with actionable, small steps in reducing risk factors, that’s a big win in promoting good health” said study co-author John Foreyt, PhD, Director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. “We’re encouraged to see that something as easy as drinking vegetable juice can help people increase their vegetable intake and have significant health benefits.”
About the Studies
Both studies were randomized controlled trials, each lasting 12 weeks. The University of California-Davis study involved 90 healthy adults, ages 40-65 years. The Baylor study enrolled 81 adults (83.5% of whom were minority) with metabolic syndrome risk factors. The studies were supported in part by Campbell Soup Company and by resources provided from University of California-Davis and Baylor College of Medicine.
About V8® Juice
For more than 75 years, the makers of V8® juice have been committed to providing great-tasting, simple ways to help people get more vegetables each day. In fact, each eight-ounce serving of V8 100% vegetable juice provides two servings (1 cup) of vegetables based on USDA MyPyramid guidelines. For more information, visit www.v8juice.com.
About Campbell Soup Company
Campbell Soup Company is a global manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals, including soup, baked snacks and healthy beverages. Founded in 1869, the company has a portfolio of market-leading brands, including Campbell’s®, Pepperidge Farm®, Arnott’s? and V8®. For more information on the company, visit Campbell’s website at www.campbellsoup.com.