Open Access

Improving the comparability of national estimates of fruit and vegetable consumption for cross-national studies of dietary patterns

Authors: Moore, Spencer; Lloyd, Beate

Source: Food & Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 33, Number 4, December 2012 , pp. 312-317(6)

Publisher: Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation

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Abstract:

Background. Developing global approaches to the problem of low fruit and vegetable consumption requires cross-nationally comparable estimates of fruit and vegetable consumption. National differences in the definitions of fruits and vegetables and serving size amounts limit the comparability of estimates.

Objectives. To describe national differences in fruit and vegetable definitions, serving size amounts, and how these factors can influence the comparability of fruit and vegetable consumption estimates; and to provide a series of reporting recommendations that could facilitate cross-national studies of fruit and vegetable consumption.

Methods. A comprehensive review of national dietary guidelines, fruit and vegetable definitions, and fruit and vegetable consumption recommendations was undertaken for Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Results. To improve cross-national comparability, the findings suggest that researchers could report fruit and vegetable consumption separately, provide separate average fruit and vegetable intake amounts, report potato and legume or pulse consumption separately from vegetable consumption, and report consumption of 100% fruit juice separately from fruit consumption.

Conclusions. These four low-cost, high-value additions to conventional research reporting standards will aid in the development of cross-national research on global fruit and vegetable consumption and the design of global policies that can target low fruit and vegetable consumption in populations.

Keywords: DIETARY GUIDELINES; FRUIT CONSUMPTION; GLOBAL HEALTH; SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS; VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106
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