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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fruit and vegetables are similarly categorised by 8-13-year-old children

item Knight Sepulveda, Karina
item Beltran, Alicia
item Watson, Kathleen
item Baranowski, Thomas
item Baranowski, Janice
item Islam, Noemi
item Missaghian, Mariam

Submitted to: Public Health Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2008
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: A problem children encountered in using a computerized 24-hour dietary recall was difficulty in finding the food they wanted to report in a hierarchically organized list of food categories developed by dietitians. We hypothesized that children might have an easier time finding the foods they wanted to report if the food categories reflected how children thought about the foods. To do this, we asked 152 8- to 13-year-old children to do a food card sort with fruit-related items and one with vegetable-related items. The fruit and vegetable items were diverse to try to cover all major forms of these items. Analyses revealed the children generated in the average 8.5 piles for the 67 fruit items and 10.1 piles for the 64 vegetable items. No substantial differences were obtained in the numbers and types of piles when the analyses were repeated with categories of the demographic characteristics. Three categories appear to capture how children think about these foods, and should be used as part of a hierarchically organized structure of child food categories in a computerized 24-hour recall.

Technical Abstract: This exploratory study assessed how 8- to 13-year-old children categorized and labelled fruit and vegetables (FaV), and how these were influenced by child characteristics, to specify second-level categories in a hierarchical food search system for a computerised 24-h dietary recall (hdr). Two sets of food cards, 67 for fruit (F) and 64 for vegetables (V), with pictures and names of FaV from 10 professionally defined food categories were sorted, separately, by each child into piles of similar foods. Demographic data, BMI and 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) taster status were obtained. Participants were 152 8- to 13-year-old children, predominantly English-speaking (16 were predominantly Spanish-speaking), attending the Children's Nutrition Research Center in the summer of 2006. Children created an average of 8.5 (5.3) piles with 7.9 (11.4) cards per pile for the F, and an average of 10.1 (4.8) piles with 6.2 (7.9) cards per pile for the V. No substantial differences in Robinson clustering were detected across subcategories for each of the demographic characteristics, BMI or PROP sensitivity. Children provided clusters names that were mostly 'Taxonomic - Professional' labels, such as salads, berries, peppers, for both F (51.8 %) and V (52.1 %). These categories should be tested to assess their ability to facilitate search of FaV items in a computerized 24-hdr for children in this age group.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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