Nutrition education effective in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among overweight and obese adults.Appetite 2016; 100:94-101A
Despite the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption on weight and decreased risk for chronic disease, Americans' intake of fruits and vegetables is well below the recommended daily servings. While previous studies have assessed fruit and vegetable consumption and the influence of educational interventions on fruit and vegetable intake, no studies to date have examined the effects of nutrition education combined with provision of fruits and vegetables on changes in fruit and vegetable consumption among overweight and obese adults. The objectives of this study were to evaluate fruit and vegetable consumption patterns, including intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, provide education about benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables, expose participants to different varieties of fruits and vegetables, and improve fruit and vegetable consumption. Fifty-four adults (19 men/35 women; 44.7 ± 12.1 y) were randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups. The control group received no intervention, the education group attended weekly nutrition lessons focused on benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption, and the fruit and vegetable group attended weekly nutrition lessons and received one serving of fruits and two servings of vegetables per day for 10 weeks. Intake of fruits and vegetables was assessed using semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires and three-day food records. Findings suggested that while the majority of participants failed to consume the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables per day, nutrition education was helpful in improving the consumption frequency of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables among overweight and obese adults.