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J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Nov;108(11):1912-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.08.019.

Black children with high preferences for fruits and vegetables are at less risk of being at risk of overweight or overweight.

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  • 1School of Human Ecology, Louisiana State University, 202B Knapp Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.


Food preferences play a central role in food choices and consumption. The primary objective of this study was to examine the relationship between children's preferences for fruits and vegetables and their weight status. A total of 341 black children (43% boys; 68% fourth graders) attending low-income, public elementary schools in southeastern Louisiana volunteered to participate. Children were measured for height and weight and completed a survey that sought their preferences for 38 different fruits and vegetables during the fall of 2005. Results indicated that children preferred fruits more than vegetables and that there was a negative association between children's mean fruit and vegetable preference score and their body mass index for age percentile (r=-0.26; P=0.01). Children who reported a very low preference for fruits and vegetables were 5.5 times more likely to be categorized as at risk for overweight or overweight than were those who reported a high preference for fruits and vegetables (odds ratio: 5.5; confidence interval: 1.97 to 15.44; P<0.01). It is believed that food preferences are established early in life; therefore, nutritionists and other health care professionals should promote children's acceptance and intake of fruits and vegetables as a measure to reduce the prevalence of overweight among children.

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