Total fruit and vegetable consumption increases among consumers of frozen fruit and vegetables.Nutrition 2018; 46:115-121N
Consumption of fruits and vegetables (FV) remains lower than recommended by the 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The aim of this study was to assess average FV and frozen FV consumption and the effect on nutrient intakes across sex and 10 age categories.
Nutrient intake from foods and consumption of FV were estimated using combined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011 to 2014 and the Food Pattern Equivalents Database 2011 to 2012. Means were compared across sex and between frozen FV consumers and nonconsumers.
On average, consumers of frozen FV consumed significantly more total FV than did nonconsumers, but neither group met the recommended servings of FV per day. Intake of nutrients of concern-dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, and vitamin D-were significantly higher among consumers of frozen FV, whereas sodium intake was lower. Mean energy intake among children ages 1 to 18 y was significantly lower among those who ate frozen FV, but energy intake was not affected by consumption of frozen FV for adults. Mean body mass index was significantly lower among adult consumers of frozen FV.
Results of this study suggested that when frozen FV are not consumed, other forms, such as fresh, canned, or dried, do not fill the FV gap. Government food programs and health professionals should encourage frozen FV as another way to increase FV consumption.