In order to more effectively promote fruit and vegetable intake among children and adolescents, insight into determinants of intake is necessary. We conducted a review of the literature for potential determinants of fruit and vegetable intake in children and adolescents. Methods
Papers were identified from Medline and PsycINFO by using all combinations of the search terms: "fruit(s) or vegetable(s)" and "children or adolescents". Quantitative research examining determinants of fruit and/or vegetable intake among children and adolescents aged 6–18 years were included. The selection and review process was conducted according to a four-step protocol resulting in information on country, population, design, methodology, theoretical basis, instrument used for measuring intake, statistical analysis, included independent variables, and effect sizes. Results
Ninety-eight papers were included. A large number of potential determinants have been studied among children and adolescents. However, for many presumed determinants convincing evidence is lacking, mostly because of paucity of studies. The determinants best supported by evidence are: age, gender, socio-economic position, preferences, parental intake, and home availability/accessibility. Girls and younger children tend to have a higher or more frequent intake than boys and older children. Socio-economic position, preferences, parental intake, and home availability/accessibility are all consistently positively associated with intake. Conclusion
The determinants most consistently supported by evidence are gender, age, socio-economic position, preferences, parental intake and home availability/accessibility. There is a need for internationally comparative, longitudinal, theory-based and multi-level studies taking both personal and environmental factors into account. This paper is published as part of the special Pro Children series in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Please see [http://www.ijbnp.org/content/3/1/26] for the relevant editorial. Go to:
A large body of epidemiological evidence suggests that a high fruit and vegetable intake helps to promote health and to prevent chronic disease [1-4]. In most Western countries, large population groups, including children and adolescents, eat far less than the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables [5-8]. Several studies have shown that children's intake of fruit and vegetable tracks into adolescence [9-11] and that those food preferences and eating habits established in childhood and adolescence tend to be maintained into adulthood . This makes increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among children and adolescents an important public health issue. Interventions to improve health-related behaviours should be tailored to the most important determinants or mediators of these behaviours [13,14]. To date nutritional interventions have generally been only moderately successful in improving a lasting consumption of adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables . To facilitate improvement of future interventions a comprehensive overview of the literature on determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption among children and adolescents is warranted. The present review is part of the Pro Children Project. The Pro Children Project is an international-study involving nine European countries aiming at assessing fruit and vegetable consumption among schoolchildren and their...