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Fruits and Vegetables Versus Vegetables and Fruits: Rhyme and Reason for Word Order in Health Messages.

Abstract

Both vegetable and fruit consumption contribute to wellness and disease prevention. Most dietary health messages promote both together and position the word "fruits" before "vegetables." We examined the word order of the commonly used phrase "fruits and vegetables" through linguistics, psychology, botany, nutrition, health outcomes, and current US intake to determine if the common word order best presents these two foods in health messaging. By comparing the 10 most commonly consumed vegetables versus fruits, we found that vegetables scored higher on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index and contained fewer calories and more fiber than fruits. Among the "nutrients of public concern" listed in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we determined that vegetables are better sources of these nutrients than fruits, although fruits scored higher in antioxidant content. In observational cohort studies, vegetable and fruit consumption was found to be associated with decreased mortality. Finally, daily intakes of both vegetables and fruits are lower than recommended, but the discrepancy is larger for vegetables-especially among children-suggesting a greater imperative to promote vegetables. For these reasons, future health messages promoting both together should intentionally put "vegetables" first to promote intake and emphasize their importance regarding contribution to health.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California (LCO, MEH, CDG). Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, California (MVS).

    ,

    Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California (LCO, MEH, CDG). Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, California (MVS).

    ,

    Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California (LCO, MEH, CDG). Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, California (MVS).

    Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California (LCO, MEH, CDG). Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, California (MVS).

    Source

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    31105482

    Citation

    Offringa, Lisa C., et al. "Fruits and Vegetables Versus Vegetables and Fruits: Rhyme and Reason for Word Order in Health Messages." American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, vol. 13, no. 3, 2019, pp. 224-234.
    Offringa LC, Stanton MV, Hauser ME, et al. Fruits and Vegetables Versus Vegetables and Fruits: Rhyme and Reason for Word Order in Health Messages. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2019;13(3):224-234.
    Offringa, L. C., Stanton, M. V., Hauser, M. E., & Gardner, C. D. (2019). Fruits and Vegetables Versus Vegetables and Fruits: Rhyme and Reason for Word Order in Health Messages. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 13(3), pp. 224-234. doi:10.1177/1559827618769605.
    Offringa LC, et al. Fruits and Vegetables Versus Vegetables and Fruits: Rhyme and Reason for Word Order in Health Messages. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2019;13(3):224-234. PubMed PMID: 31105482.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Fruits and Vegetables Versus Vegetables and Fruits: Rhyme and Reason for Word Order in Health Messages. AU - Offringa,Lisa C, AU - Stanton,Michael V, AU - Hauser,Michelle E, AU - Gardner,Christopher D, Y1 - 2018/05/02/ PY - 2017/12/05/received PY - 2018/04/06/accepted PY - 2019/5/21/entrez PY - 2019/5/21/pubmed PY - 2019/5/21/medline KW - fruit and vegetable KW - health messages KW - nutrition KW - vegetable and fruit KW - word order SP - 224 EP - 234 JF - American journal of lifestyle medicine JO - Am J Lifestyle Med VL - 13 IS - 3 N2 - Both vegetable and fruit consumption contribute to wellness and disease prevention. Most dietary health messages promote both together and position the word "fruits" before "vegetables." We examined the word order of the commonly used phrase "fruits and vegetables" through linguistics, psychology, botany, nutrition, health outcomes, and current US intake to determine if the common word order best presents these two foods in health messaging. By comparing the 10 most commonly consumed vegetables versus fruits, we found that vegetables scored higher on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index and contained fewer calories and more fiber than fruits. Among the "nutrients of public concern" listed in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we determined that vegetables are better sources of these nutrients than fruits, although fruits scored higher in antioxidant content. In observational cohort studies, vegetable and fruit consumption was found to be associated with decreased mortality. Finally, daily intakes of both vegetables and fruits are lower than recommended, but the discrepancy is larger for vegetables-especially among children-suggesting a greater imperative to promote vegetables. For these reasons, future health messages promoting both together should intentionally put "vegetables" first to promote intake and emphasize their importance regarding contribution to health. SN - 1559-8284 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31105482/Fruits_and_Vegetables_Versus_Vegetables_and_Fruits:_Rhyme_and_Reason_for_Word_Order_in_Health_Messages L2 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/31105482/ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -