Psychosocial and environmental factors influencing fruit and vegetable intake of children from a lower socio-economic region of Brisbane
Purpose: To associate psychosocial and environmental factors with fruit and vegetable (F&V)intake of children (years 4-7) from a lower socio-economic school. Methods: Two questionnaires were used to explore preferences and knowledge about F&V. Questionnaires were completed in class and compared with self-completed 24-hour diet diaries. All students (n=114) completed the questionnaires. Parents (43% participation) also were surveyed about their children's attitudes regarding F&V. Results: Diet diaries showed 41.6% reported consuming no fruit, vegetables or legumes during 24 hours. Several questions were significantly associated with reported fruit intake: "lots of fruit and vegetables at home?"(p = 0.013), "Do you eat lots of fruit?" (p = 0.009) and "Does your family eat lots of fruit?" (p = 0.028). Girls and younger children showed more interest in fruit and vegetables in general. Banana (94.7%), apple (93.6%) and strawberry (90.4%) were correctly identified by 94.7, 93.6 and 90.4% of students, respectively. Lower rates were seen with starfruit (35.1%) and peach (41.5%). Children's interest in gardening waned with age, with 71.4%, 58.1%, 45% and 18.2% being interested for grades 4, 5, 6 and 7, respectively. Knowledge of peer fruit and vegetable preferences was low. Conclusion: Availability of fruit and vegetables at home, and nutrition and health knowledge were major issues associated with fruit and vegetable consumption. These data will be used as baseline data for an intervention involving school gardening.
Fourth Annual Conference of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA)