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Increasing daily fruit and vegetable consumption: what changes do cardiac patients make?

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Abstract:

Abstract Background 

Interventions targeting fruit and vegetable consumption report significant increases in consumption but do not detail how increases are achieved. This prospective study explored (i) the changes in daily fruit and daily vegetable consumption of cardiac patients participating in an intervention study and (ii) how participants made these changes. Methods 

A total of 120 cardiac patients were asked to increase their daily fruit and vegetable consumption by two portions and to maintain this over 3 months. They were telephoned at 7-, 28- and 90-day follow-up to record daily consumption using a dietary questionnaire; 94 participants completed all parts of the study. Results 

Mean reported daily fruit and daily vegetable consumption increased by 1.07 (SD = 1.26) and 0.34 (SD = 0.96) portions, respectively, over 3 months. These increases were statistically significant (P < 0.001) and greatest for participants who reported eating low levels of fruit and vegetables at recruitment. Eating fresh fruit as a snack and at mealtimes were preferred choices for participants. Conclusions 

Providing information and telephone follow-up could be used by busy healthcare professionals instead of face-to-face contact. Interventions to increase total fruit and vegetable consumption could usefully focus on eating fruit. Interventions to increase vegetable consumption need further investigation.

Keywords: coronary heart disease; dietary advice; fruit and vegetables; intervention

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-277X.2005.00608.x

Affiliations: 1: School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK 2: Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK 3: Dietetics Department, Westwood Hospital, Beverley, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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