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Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2001 Mar;51(1):81-5.

Fruits and vegetables consumption among Costa Rican adolescents.

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  • 1Costa Rican Institute for Research and Education on Nutrition and Health, Inciensa, Costa Rica.


Scientific evidence indicates that lower levels of fruit and vegetables consumption are associated with an increased risk of developing cancer and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, an increase of these foods' consumption may substantially improve public health. The purpose of this study was to examine the consumption of fruits and vegetables in 214 urban and rural adolescents in relation to the 5-A-DAY recommendation. Mean daily servings of fruits (1.7 servings) were not far from the minimum recommendation of 2 daily fruit servings. This mean decreased to 1.21 servings when banana was not counted. Mean vegetable intake (1.1 servings, including legumes) was well below the minimum recommendation of 3 vegetable servings per day. Urban adolescents and females consumed significantly (p = 0.000) fewer fruits and vegetables servings than did rural youngsters and males. However when pulses were not counted the mean daily servings of vegetables were higher in urban adolescents (p = 0.029). Only 16 from 214 adolescents (6%) consumed five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This proportion decreased dramatically to 2% (p = 0.000) when pulses and banana were not counted. Examination of the factors associated with low intake of fruit and vegetables could be beneficial to develop effective interventions targeted to increase their consumption among adolescents.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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