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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Novel Functions and Biomarkers for Vitamins and Minerals

Location: Obesity and Metabolism Research

Title: Vegetable behavioral tool demonstrates validity with MyPlate vegetable cups and carotenoid and inflammatory biomarkers

Author
item Townsend, Marilyn
item Shilts, Mical
item Styne, Dennis
item Drake, Christiana
item Lanoue, L
item Woodhouse, Leslie
item Allen, Lindsay

Submitted to: Appetite
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/2/2017
Publication Date: 9/2/2016
Citation: Townsend, M.S., Shilts, M.K., Styne, D.M., Drake, C., Lanoue, L., Woodhouse, L.R., Allen, L.H. 2016. Vegetable behavioral tool demonstrates validity with MyPlate vegetable cups and carotenoid and inflammatory biomarkers. Appetite. 107:628-638. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.09.002.

Interpretive Summary: Young children are not meeting recommendations for vegetable intake. The objective is to validate a pictorial vegetable behavioral assessment tool that can be used by federally funded community nutrition programs. Parent/child pairs (n=133) from Head Start and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children [WIC] completed parent-administered vegetable tools, three child 24-hour dietary intake recalls, a child blood sample and measured heights/weights. The 10-item Focus on Veggies score was positively related to vegetables in cup equivalents; and children’s dietary intakes of folate, vitamin C, ß-carotene, potassium and magnesium, and soluble fiber. The child vegetable scores were related to the parent's mediators and vegetable behaviors. Children's plasma inflammatory markers were negatively related to the 10 item scale indicating that higher vegetable intake is associated with better child's health status. The positive relationship between the serum carotenoid index and a sub-scale of child vegetable behaviors offered additional support that the scale validly measured vegetable intake. Finally, the inverse relationship of body mass index-for-age percentile one year post baseline and a sub-scale of child vegetable behaviors supported the ability of the questionnaire to predict fat gain in the children. Focus on Veggies, a simple assessment tool, can inform practitioners about the child's health status. A child with a high score has a more healthful profile with a lower inflammation index, higher carotenoid index, lower BMI and higher vegetable intake. In conclusion, validity of Focus on Veggies.

Technical Abstract: Young children are not meeting recommendations for vegetable intake. Our objective is to provide evidence of validity and reliability for a pictorial vegetable behavioral assessment for use by federally funded community nutrition programs. Parent/child pairs (n=133) from Head Start and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children [WIC] provided parent-administered vegetable tools, three child 24-hour diet recalls, child blood sample and measured heights/weights. The 10-item Focus on Veggies scale, with an alpha of .83 and a stability reliability coefficient of .74, was positively related to vegetables in cup equivalents [p=.05]; dietary intakes of folate, vitamin C, ß-carotene, potassium and magnesium [p=.05-.01]; and soluble fiber [p=.001]. The child vegetable scores were related to the parent's mediators [p=.00001] and vegetable behaviors [p=.00001]. Children's plasma inflammatory markers were negatively related to the 10 item scale [p=.05] and are indicators of the child's health status. The positive relationship between the serum carotenoid index and a sub-scale of child vegetable behaviors offered additional support for criterion validity [p=.05]. Finally, the inverse relationship of BMI-for-age percentile one year post baseline and a sub-scale of child vegetable behaviors supported the predictive validity [p=.05]. Focus on Veggies, a simple assessment tool, can inform practitioners about the child's health status. A child with a high score, shows a healthful profile with a lower inflammation index, higher carotenoid index, lower BMI and higher vegetable intake. In conclusion, validity of Focus on Veggies has been demonstrated using vegetable cup equivalents and micronutrient intakes, anthropometry and blood biomarkers.

Last Modified: 09/21/2017
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