Children's and parents' perceptions of the determinants of children's fruit and vegetable intake in a low-intake population.
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CitationPublic Health Nutr. 2009, 12(8):1224-33
AbstractOBJECTIVE: To study the differences between children's self-reports and parents' reports on environmental determinants of fruit and vegetable intake among 11-year-old children in the European country with the lowest reported consumption. A second objective was to examine the observed variance in fruit and vegetable intake among the children. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey was performed in Iceland as a part of the Pro Children cross-Europe survey. Children's usual fruit and vegetable intake and its determinants were assessed through self-reports from the children (n 963) and their parents' reports. RESULTS: Children reported lower availability and accessibility of fruits at home than did their parents, while the reports of children and parents for vegetables were more in agreement. A larger proportion of the observed variance in children's fruit and vegetable intake could be explained by the child's perception than by the parent's perception of determinants. The strongest determinants for fruit and vegetable intake according to the children's reports were availability at home, modelling, demanding family rule and knowledge of recommendations. The strongest modelling determinant for fruit was the father's fruit intake while for vegetables it was eating vegetables together with the family. CONCLUSION: Eleven-year-old children should be asked themselves what determines their fruit and vegetable intake. However, children reported determinants in the physical and social environment, of which the parents are a part, as an important determinant for their intake. Interventions aiming to increase fruit and vegetable intake among children must therefore target the parents.
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