Low-income young adults report increased variety in fruit and vegetable intake after a stage-tailored intervention

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The objective of this study was to determine if a fruit and vegetable (FV) intervention, previously demonstrated to increase amount of FV per day, also increased the variety consumed. Variety in FV intake was assessed using a 26-item FV (12 fruit and 14 vegetable) food frequency questionnaire on 1255 low-income adults, with ages from 18 to 24 years (control = 684 vs experimental = 571), after completion of a stage-tailored intervention to increase FV intakes. The food frequency questionnaire was administered at 12 months to assess how often and how much participants ate of each item over the previous year. Variety was defined as the number of different types of fruits and vegetables consumed. At completion, the experimental group vs the control group had significantly greater variety in number of fruit items (9.5 ± 0.1 vs 9.1 ± 0.1, P ≤ .001) and vegetable items (11.5 ± 0.1 vs 11.2 ± 0.1, P < .01) as well as greater total intake of fruits (2.73 ± 0.09 vs 2.33 ± 0.11 cups, P < .01) and vegetables (1.87 ± 0.10 vs 1.62 ± 0.01 cups, P ≤ .001) and a greater consumption of the categories of seasonal fruits (P < .05), juices (P < .01), and high-β-carotene vegetables (P ≤ .001). This is one of the first studies to document an increase in FV variety as a result of an educational intervention for low-income young adults. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Nutrition Research