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Prev Med. 1993 Nov;22(6):866-79.

Measuring fruit and vegetable preferences among 4th- and 5th-grade students.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta.



Achievement of the nation's Year 2000 fruit and vegetable goal of five or more daily servings may relate to children's preferences for fruits and vegetables. There are, however, no easily administered instruments for measuring preferences for fruits and vegetables among children.


An initial questionnaire systematically varied preparation methods after focus group discussions had indicated that this had an impact on fruit and vegetable preferences. The three-part questionnaire (fruits, vegetables, fruit and/or vegetable snacks) was classroom administered. Internal consistencies and test-retest reliabilities were acceptable. Principal components analyses, however, revealed food-specific rather than preparation factors; thus, preparation was eliminated from a revised questionnaire.


Repeat classroom administration of the revised questionnaire yielded acceptable internal consistencies and test-retest reliabilities. Preferences were higher for fruits than vegetables. Principal components analyses indicated single fruit and vegetable factors and a two-factor solution for snacks (vegetables, fruits). Pearson correlations between preferences and consumption were significant, but accounted for only a small fraction of the variance. Correlations between fruit exposure and preferences, and between vegetable exposure and preferences were 0.55 and 0.51, respectively.


The revised questionnaire provides a reliable, valid, and simple tool for assessing fruit and vegetable preferences of 4th- and 5th-grade students. The relationship between these preferences and actual consumption is weak; however, making fruits and vegetables more available may enhance preferences.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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