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Usefulness of a Brief Fruit and Vegetable FFQ in a College Population

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Objective: To determine the validity of an existing National Cancer Institute 7-item fruit and vegetable food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) with college students and to assess fruit and vegetable consumption, knowledge, and attitudes in this population. Methods: A survey was completed by 109 students. In addition to the FFQ, the survey contained questions determining awareness of the 5 a Day program, knowledge of recommended fruit and vegetable intake, and barriers to consumption of fruits and vegetables. Diet records were also collected and compared to the FFQ. Results: The FFQ was not shown to be valid; only 20% of students were aware of recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake; and taste, cost, and accessibility were identified as barriers to consumption of fruits and vegetables. Mean daily intake of fruits and vegetables based on FFQ was 4.2 servings. Conclusion: A better tool may be needed to quickly assess fruit and vegetable consumption by college students, and more nutrition education on this topic is recommended.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Dietetics, Massachussetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. 2: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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