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J Hum Nutr Diet. 2005 Jun;18(3):195-204.

Increasing daily fruit and vegetable consumption: what changes do cardiac patients make?

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School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.



Interventions targeting fruit and vegetable consumption report significant increases in consumption but do not detail how increases are achieved. This prospective study explored (i) the changes in daily fruit and daily vegetable consumption of cardiac patients participating in an intervention study and (ii) how participants made these changes.


A total of 120 cardiac patients were asked to increase their daily fruit and vegetable consumption by two portions and to maintain this over 3 months. They were telephoned at 7-, 28- and 90-day follow-up to record daily consumption using a dietary questionnaire; 94 participants completed all parts of the study.


Mean reported daily fruit and daily vegetable consumption increased by 1.07 (SD = 1.26) and 0.34 (SD = 0.96) portions, respectively, over 3 months. These increases were statistically significant (P < 0.001) and greatest for participants who reported eating low levels of fruit and vegetables at recruitment. Eating fresh fruit as a snack and at mealtimes were preferred choices for participants.


Providing information and telephone follow-up could be used by busy healthcare professionals instead of face-to-face contact. Interventions to increase total fruit and vegetable consumption could usefully focus on eating fruit. Interventions to increase vegetable consumption need further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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