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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY Title: Process of change for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among economically disadvantaged African American adolescents

Authors
item Di Noia, Jennifer -
item Thompson, Deborah

Submitted to: Eating Behaviors
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 11, 2011
Publication Date: January 25, 2012
Citation: Di Noia, J., Thompson, D.J. 2012. Process of change for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among economically disadvantaged African American adolescents. Eating Behaviors. 13:58-61.

Interpretive Summary: Fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption is associated with reduced risks for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers. With few adolescents consuming recommended amounts of FVs, there is a recognized need to increase consumption, in particular among demographic groups that are less likely to meet national guildelines such as African Americans and low socioeconomic status groups. The purpose of our study was to identify processes associated with consumption of greater than 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables in a sample of economically disadvantaged African American adolescents. The method we used was a cross sectional study using baseline data provided by African American adolescents enrolled in a dietary intervention. Youths were recruited through 27 youth services agencies that serve low-income communities in the Greater New York City area. The results of the study show that a modest 12% of youths surveyed reported consuming greater than 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, with 88% reporting less than 5 daily servings. Our conclusion is that few African American adolescents consume greater than 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, which underscores the need for dietary intervention programs to improve health outcomes and nutritional status in this population.

Technical Abstract: This study sought to identify Transtheoretical Model processes of change associated with consumption of = 5 daily servings of FVs in a sample of economically disadvantaged African American adolescents (N = 549; mean (SD) age = 12.44 (.99) years; 61% female; 15% African American Hispanic). Participants completed measures of stages and processes of change, and were ranked according to intake level based on their reported stage. Spearman correlations and independent samples t tests were used in cross-sectional analyses of the relationship between processes of change and FV consumption. Consciousness raising, environmental reevaluation, helping relationships, and stimulus control processes were significantly associated with FV consumption (' = .12; p < .01), and were practiced more often by youths who consumed = 5 daily servings of FVs relative to those who did not (p < .05). Findings highlight the potential of these processes for increasing FV consumption in this population.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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