Predicting adolescents' intake of fruits and vegetables.
OBJECTIVE: To explore potential predictors of adolescents' fruit and vegetable intake by expanding on current theory and drawing from other adolescent research. DESIGN: This research reports on baseline and interim data from a school-based intervention study. Data were collected through surveys administered to students at the beginning and end of their 7th grade year. SETTING: The students attended 16 public schools in Minnesota. PARTICIPANTS: Data were collected on 3878 students; approximately half were female and 67% were white. All students in the 7th grade cohort were invited to participate in the surveys and over 94% completed both surveys. VARIABLES MEASURED: Our dependent variable, fruit and vegetable intake, was assessed by a validated fruit and vegetable food frequency scale. Predictive factors assessed included parenting style, spirituality/religiosity, depressive symptoms, and other commonly assessed predictors. ANALYSIS: Generalized linear mixed model regression. Omnibus test of association using P <.05 is reported. RESULTS: Subjective norms, barriers, knowledge, usual food choice, parenting style, spirituality/religiosity, and depressive symptoms were statistically significant predictors of intake. The model explained about 31% of the variance in fruit and vegetable consumption. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: To better understand adolescents' fruit and vegetable intake, we must explore novel predictors. Our results need to be replicated, and more exploratory research in this field is needed.
Lytle, LA; Varnell, S; Murray, DM; Story, M; Perry, C; Birnbaum, AS; Kubik, MY
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