Have they ever?
The CDC reports,
The findings in this report indicate that, in 2010, the median number of times per day that U.S. high school students consumed fruits and vegetables was only 1.2 times for both fruits and vegetables and was no higher than 1.5 for any of the demographic subpopulations studied. In addition, 28.5% of students ate fruit <1 time daily, and 33.2% of students ate vegetables <1 time daily. Consumption of vegetables was lowest among non-Hispanic black students and Hispanic students. These results make it likely that the majority of students are not meeting the daily fruit and vegetable recommendations for adolescents participating in <30 minutes of daily physical activity: 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables for females and 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables for males. The recommendations are higher for adolescents participating in more physical activity.
First, the data are self-reported by the teens — so we wouldn’t be betting the farm on the accuracy of this report.
Next, the above-stated dietary recommendations are not based on any sort of science or analysis. They were plucked out of thin air.
Finally, the reality is that fruits and vegetables are highly overrated. They are not “health” or “healthy” foods. They are just types of food. They can offer nutritional value, but you can pick up that nutritional value in other ways.
We doubt teens have ever eaten more fruits/veggies than today and we’ve survived and thrived so far.