Submitted to: International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2002
Publication Date: 6/14/2002
Citation: MOLAISON, E.F., STUFF, J., CONNELL, C., YADRICK, K., BOGLE, M.L. INFLUENCES ON FRUIT AND VEGETABLE COMSUMPTION IN SOUTHERN, LOW-INCOME, AFRICAN AMERICAN YOUTH. Proceedings of International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Seattle, Washington, USA. 2002. Abstract p. 32. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Purpose: This qualitative study assessed personal and environmental factors influencing fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption in 42 10-14 year old southern low-income African American youth (21 M, 21F) as a basis for intervention planning. Methods: A question schedule based on social cognitive theory was used in six single-sex focus groups to assess preferences for F&V, benefits and barriers to consumption, and intake of F&V as it related to locus of control, self-efficacy, social support, and behavioral capacity. Results: Fruit and vegetable preferences were primarily based on taste. While participants indicated they liked the sweet taste of fruit, they described vegetables as "yucky" or "nasty". Participants indicated they would eat fruits or vegetables for general health, to provide energy, improve skin appearance, and to aid in sports performance. Lack of availability at home and at the grocery store were noted as barriers to consumption. The youth indicated that decisions about F&V consumption were made primarily by their mothers and grandmothers. All groups except 13-14 year old males indicated high levels of self-efficacy for choosing fruits and vegetables in a variety of situations. Participants in all groups indicated that family provided social support for F&V consumption, but support from peers was minimal because most of them ate "junk". Regarding behavioral capability, the majority of youth indicated they helped with preparation of meals and snacks, and some indicated they were totally responsible for meal and snack preparation at home. Conclusions: Interventions designed to influence behavior should target identified personal and environmental factors that mediate F&V consumption.