Determinants of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption among Canadian Adolescent and Young Adult Males In June 2011, CBC News.ca presented some interesting facts and figures about fruit and vegetable consumption among Canadians. Based on Statistics Canada report, for the first time collecting the data since 2001, Canadians consumed less fruit and vegetables (“Fruit and vegetable consumption declines”, 2011). Moreover, young males after age of 20 ate remarkably less in comparing with females, analyst Ed Rama said. Canada’s Food Guide recommends eight servings of fruit and vegetables per day for teen’s males 14-18 years old and 8-10 vegetables and fruit servings per day for males 19-50 years old. However, the diet of young Canadian males between the ages of 18 and 24 contains too few fruit and vegetables, according to data collected from the Canadian Community Health Survey (“Fruit and vegetable consumption declines”, 2011). Fruit and vegetable consumption may help reduce the risk of developing chronic disease, obesity and stroke and therefore, fruit and vegetables should be added into each person’s healthy eating plan. Young adult’s developmental stage is characterized by transition from parental control to personal control. When young men move out of home and set up their own place, they become responsible for their eating. Poor food habits, adopted through adolescent years, have long-term effects on individual’s health and can be transmitted across generations, as young adults become parents. The purposes of this paper are to analyze community issue such as insufficient fruit and vegetables intake by Canadian adolescent and young adult males and identify contributing factors (age, household income and education) that influence the pattern of fruit and vegetable consuming in this population.
Population health is “the health of a population as measured by health-status indicators and as influenced by social, economic, and physical environments; personal health practices; individual capacity and coping skills; human biology; early childhood development; and health services” (The Population Health Approach) . Different conditions, in which people are born, grow, live, and work will determine the health of population.
Socio-demographic and lifestyle factors influencing fruit and vegetable intake were considered in research conducted by Azagba and Sharaf in 2011. Cross-sectional study used data of 131,000 individuals of the Canadian population aged 12 and over from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2007). They figured out that males consumed less fruit and vegetables then females, single less than married, smokers less than non-smokers. The lowest consumption was found among males, single, smokers, with weak social interaction. In addition, fruit and vegetable intake of individuals with low-income and education was lower in comparing with high income-educated people (Azagba&Sharaf, 2011).
Relevant findings were found in cross-sectional study performed by Riediger, Shooshtari and Moghadasian in 2007. Researchers based their study on samples from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2007) to determine patterns of fruit and vegetable intake among Canadian adolescents and identify those at risk of developing poor eating habits. Two age groups (12-14 years old and 15-19 years old) were organized from 18, 524 Canadian adolescents. The study found that fruit and vegetable intake decreased with increasing age. These findings were associated with increased independence and decision-making among adolescents. Males reported lower fruit and vegetable consuming than females (Riediger et al., 2007). In addition, household education and income were associated with consumption. Even number of parent matters; in particular, in single-parent family adolescents ate less fruit and vegetables than those lived with two parents (Riediger et al., 2007). Therefore, the consumption of the male teenagers 12-14 years old was influenced...