Adolescent Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Influence of Family Support and Moderation by Home Availability of Relationships with Afrocentric Values and Taste Preferences

Published:March 29, 2013DOI:


      Economically disadvantaged African-American adolescents have fruit and vegetable (F/V) intakes that are less than optimal. To facilitate intervention planning to address low F/V intake in this population, an understanding of determinants of youths' intake is needed. The influence of determinants consistently supported by evidence (ie, home F/V availability, F/V taste preferences, and parental modeling/intake) and variables hypothesized to influence intake in the targeted population (ie, family support for F/V consumption and Afrocentric values) were examined. Participants were African-American adolescents recruited in 2011 through summer camps serving low-income youths (N=93). Youths completed a cross-sectional survey. Hierarchical logistic regression analysis was used to examine whether availability directly influenced (ie, explained variations in) intake and whether it moderated (ie, affected the direction and/or strength of) the relationships between the other hypothesized determinants and intake. The dependent variable was intake of five or more daily servings of F/V estimated with the Block 7-item food frequency questionnaire. Family support was directly related to intake (odds ratio=1.062; 95% CI 1.007 to 1.120; P=0.026). The relationships between F/V intake and taste preferences and Afrocentric values were moderated by (ie, differed based on) home F/V availability. When availability was high, taste preferences (odds ratio=1.081; 95% CI 1.007 to 1.161; P=0.032) and Afrocentric values (OR=2.504; 95% CI 1.303 to 4.811; P=0.006) had positive influences on intake. To enhance intervention effectiveness, more research is warranted on approaches for increasing home F/V availability and family support for F/V consumption in the targeted population.


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      J. Di Noia is an assistant professor, Department of Sociology, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ.


      C. Byrd-Bredbenner is a professor and extension specialist, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick.