The Association Between Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Fruit and Vegetable Stage of Change in Underserved Communities Engaging With Cooperative Extension Services

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Abstract

Objective:

To compare differences in fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and FV stage of change in 2 diverse communities engaging with cooperative extension services (Extension).

Methods:

Cross-sectional study of FV behaviors of community members enrolled in a team-based challenge offered by Extension. t test and chi-square analyses examined differences in FV intake and FV stage of change. Linear regression examined the relationship between FV stage of change and FV intake, adjusting for demographics.

Results:

There was a significant (P = .01) difference in staging between the African American and Hispanic communities. Of individuals in the African American community, 60% were in the preparation stage; in the Hispanic community, 55% were in the precontemplation/contemplation stage. The FV stage of change was significantly associated with daily FV intake (β = .53; P < .001).

Conclusions and Implications:

To promote consumption of FVs better, nutrition education programs such as Extension should differentiate based on stages of change among subpopulations.

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