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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Surveys Research Group » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #321347

Research Project: What We Eat in America - Dietary Survey: Data Collection, Interpretation, Dissemination, and Methodology

Location: Food Surveys Research Group

Title: Fruit and vegetable intake of U.S. adults by two methods: What We Eat in America, NHANES 2009-2012

Author
item Hoy, M Katherine
item Goldman, Joseph
item Sebastian, Rhonda

Submitted to: Public Health Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2016
Publication Date: 3/31/2016
Citation: Hoy, M.K., Goldman, J.D., Sebastian, R.S. 2016. Fruit and vegetable intake of US adults estimated by two methods: What We Eat in America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2012. Public Health Nutrition. doi: 10.1017/S1368980016000628.

Interpretive Summary: Estimates of fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption vary depending on what is counted towards intake, which will be determined by the research purpose. This study estimates FV consumption of adults 20 years and older in the U.S. using two different methods. An epidemiological method included all FV after disaggregating foods and beverages. A behavioral method considered foods that provided 0.2 cup equivalents (CE) or more per 100 grams, which included discrete items such as an apple or green beans, and mixed dishes that provided approximately ½ cup FV per 1 cup serving. One day of dietary intake data from What We Eat In America NHANES 2009-2012 was used. Using the behavioral method, estimates of fruit and vegetable intake, respectively were up to 10% and 25% lower than the epidemiological method. The percentages of individuals who met MyPlate recommendations for FV intake were also lower when estimated by the behavioral method vs the epidemiological method.

Technical Abstract: Estimates of fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption vary depending on how intake is defined and the research purpose. Two methods used by researchers to evaluate intake include epidemiological (EPI), which considers all FV defined as cup equivalents (CE) after disaggregating foods and beverages, and behavioral (BEH), which considers only intentional inclusion of FV defined as 0.2 CE of FV per 100 gm. This study describes intake of FV by adults using EPI vs BEH approaches. One day dietary intake data of adults 20+ years (N=10,563) in What We Eat In America NHANES 2009-2012 were used. The Food Patterns Equivalents Database 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 were used to estimate FV CE. MyPlate recommendations for FV intake were determined by age, gender, and physical activity level. Data are reported for EPI vs BEH. Fruit intake was 1.1 vs 1.0 CE for males, and 1.0 and 0.9 CE for females. The percentages meeting MyPlate recommendations for fruit intake were 18 vs 16% for males and 23 vs 21% for females. Vegetable intake was 1.8 vs 1.1 CE for males, and 1.5 vs 1.0 CE for females. The percentages meeting MyPlate recommendations for vegetable intake were 14 vs 7% for males and 23 vs 19% for females. The definition of FV intake affects estimates of consumption by the population, and is an important consideration when planning and comparing research studies.