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Intrapersonal Factors of Male and Female Adolescent Fruit and Vegetable Intake

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Objectives: In this study, we examined the role of socio-demographic (race/ethnicity, sex, grade, nativity, literacy, body mass index) and individual-level (normative beliefs, knowledge, perceived barriers, food preference, self-efficacy) factors on US adolescent fruit and vegetable consumption. Methods: We conducted hierarchical multiple regression analysis to determine the influence of factors on adolescent fruit and vegetable consumption in a nationally represen- tative sample of 795 adolescents from the National Cancer Institute's 2014 Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) study. Results: Socio-demographic variables explained little variance (1.7%) whereas individual-level factors explained approximately 29% of the variance in adolescent fruit and vegetable consumption. Statistically significant (p < .001) predictors of adolescent fruit and vegetable consumption were food preference (β = .253), self-efficacy (β = .184), perceived barriers (β = -.139), and normative beliefs (β = .134). After controlling for sex, food preference and normative beliefs were stronger predictors of male, and perceived barriers was a stronger predictor of female, adolescent fruit and vegetable consumption. Conclusions: Understanding the predictive strength and sex-specific differences of intrapersonal variables on male and female adolescent fruit and vegetable consumption informs health promotion efforts to increase intake to recommended amounts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Texas State University, Department of Health and Human Performance, San Marcos, TX

Publication date: 2018-03-01

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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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