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Public Health Nutr. 2007 Jul;10(7):701-11. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

Associations of psychosocial factors with fruit and vegetable intake among African-Americans.

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Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.



To examine associations of various psychosocial factors with fruit and vegetable intake in African-American adults.


A cross-sectional survey of a population-based sample of 658 African-Americans, aged 18-70 years, in North Carolina. Information was collected on diet-related psychosocial (predisposing, reinforcing and enabling) factors based on the PRECEDE (Predisposing, Reinforcing, and Enabling Constructs in Educational Diagnosis and Evaluation) planning framework; demographic, lifestyle and behavioural characteristics, and fruit and vegetable intake.


The mean participant age was 43.9 years (standard deviation 11.6), 57% were female and 76% were overweight/obese. Participants expressed healthy beliefs regarding many of, but not all, the psychosocial factors. For example, although half of the respondents believed it is important to eat a diet high in fruits/vegetables, only 26% knew that >or=5 daily servings are recommended. The strongest associations of the psychosocial factors with fruit/vegetable intake were for predisposing factors (e.g. belief in the importance of a high fruit/vegetable diet and knowledge of fruit/vegetable recommendations) and one reinforcing factor (social support), with differences between the healthiest and least healthy responses of 0.5-1.0 servings per day. There was evidence of effect modification by gender in associations between psychosocial factors and fruit/vegetable consumption (e.g. self-efficacy was only significant in women), with higher intakes and generally healthier responses to the psychosocial variables in women than men.


Interventions to increase fruit/vegetable intake in African-Americans may be more effective if they focus primarily on predisposing factors, such as knowledge, self-efficacy and attitudes, but not to the exclusion of reinforcing and enabling factors. The psychosocial factors that are targeted may also need to be somewhat different for African-American men and women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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