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Health Educ Behav. 1999 Aug;26(4):513-34.

Stages of change for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among adults and young adults participating in the national 5-a-Day for Better Health community studies.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7400, USA.


Higher fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases. The 5-a-Day for Better Health community studies are evaluating population-based strategies to achieving dietary behavior change using the stages-of-change model and associated theories. The authors present baseline comparisons of stages of change for fruit and vegetable consumption among adults and young adults in eight study sites representing diverse regions of the United States and diverse populations and settings. Three dominant stages, precontemplation, preparation, and maintenance, were found across sites. Women and those with college degrees were more likely to be in action/maintenance. Fruit and vegetable consumption, self-efficacy, and knowledge of the 5-a-Day recommendation were positively associated with more advanced stages of change in all study sites. The authors discuss the findings in relation to possible limitations of this and other dietary stages-of-change measures and suggest directions for future research.

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