Submitted to: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/13/2007
Publication Date: 9/13/2007
Citation: Jago, R., Baranowski, T., Baranowski, J.C., Cullen, K., Thompson, D.J. 2007. Distance to food stores & adolescent male fruit and vegetable consumption: mediation effects. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity [serial online]. 4:35. Available: http://www.ijbnpa.org/content/4/1/35. Interpretive Summary: Youth consume less than the recommended amounts of fruit, juices, and vegetables. Reasons for the low consumption need to be identified. Physical environment may play a role in consumption by influencing availability. This research demonstrated that distance to a small food store (i.e., convenience store, drug store) and fast food restaurants had an effect on fruit, juice, and vegetable consumption. Participants residing further away from a small food store, such as a convenience store and/or drug store, were more likely to show increased fruit and juice and low-fat vegetable consumption. Those participants residing closer to a fast food restaurant demonstrated an increased high-fat vegetable diet and increased fruit and juice consumption. Preference influenced the relationship between distance to small food store and low fat vegetable consumption. This research demonstrated that environment may influence fruit, juice, and vegetable consumption. Understanding this relationship more fully may provide insight into ways to increase youth fruit, juice, and vegetable consumption.
Technical Abstract: The physical environments in which adolescents reside and their access to food stores may influence their consumption of fruit and vegetables. This association could either be direct or mediated via psychosocial variables or home availability of fruit and vegetables. A greater understanding of these associations would aide the design of new interventions. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between distance to food stores and restaurants and fruit and vegetable consumption and the possible mediating role of psychosocial variables and home availability. Fruit and vegetable consumption of 204 Boy Scouts was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire in 2003. Participant addresses were geo-coded and distance to different types of food stores and restaurants calculated. Fruit and vegetable references, home availability and self-efficacy were measured. Regression models were run with backward deletion of non-significant environmental and psychosocial variables. Mediation tests were performed. Residing further away from a small food store (SFS) (convenience store and drug store) was associated with increased fruit and juice and low fat vegetable consumption. Residing closer to a fast food restaurant was associated with increased high fat vegetable and fruit and juice consumption. Vegetable preferences partially mediated (26%) the relationship between low fat vegetable consumption and distance to the nearest SFS. In conclusion, the distance to SFS and fast food restaurants were associated with fruit and vegetable consumption among male adolescents. Vegetable preferences partially mediated the distance to low fat vegetable relationship. More research is needed to elucidate how evironmental variables impact children's dietary intake.