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Public Health Nutr. 2014 Nov;17(11):2436-44. doi: 10.1017/S1368980014001347. Epub 2014 Jul 15.

Fruit and vegetable consumption in a sample of 11-year-old children in ten European countries--the PRO GREENS cross-sectional survey.

Author information

1
1Department of Biosciences and Nutrition,Karolinska Institutet,NOVUM,SE 141 83 Huddinge,Stockholm,Sweden.
2
2Unit for Nutrition Research, Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition,School of Health Sciences,University of Iceland & Landspitali University Hospital,Reykjavik,Iceland.
3
3EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics,VU University Medical Center,Amsterdam,The Netherlands.
4
4Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine,University of Oslo,Oslo,Norway.
5
5Folkhälsan Research Center,Helsinki,Finland.
6
7Institute of Nutritional Sciences,Unit for International Nutrition, Faculty of Agricultural Nutrition,Environmental Sciences and Home Economics,Justus-Liebig University,Giessen,Germany.
7
8Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences,University of Porto,Porto,Portugal.
8
9Department of Social Medicine,Preventive Medicine and Nutrition Clinic,University of Crete,Heraklion,Crete,Greece.
9
11National Institute of Public Health,Ljubljana,Slovenia.
10
12National Center for Public Health Protection,Sofia,Bulgaria.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe fruit and vegetable intake of 11-year-old children in ten European countries and compare it with current dietary guidelines.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional survey. Intake was assessed using a previously validated questionnaire containing a pre-coded 24 h recall and an FFQ which were completed in the classroom. Portion sizes were calculated using a standardized protocol.

SETTING:

Surveys were performed in schools regionally selected in eight countries and nationally representative in two countries.

SUBJECTS:

A total of 8158 children from 236 schools across Europe participating in the PRO GREENS project.

RESULTS:

The total mean consumption of fruit and vegetables was between 220 and 345 g/d in the ten participating countries. Mean intakes did not reach the WHO population goal of ≥400 g/d in any of the participating countries. Girls had a significantly higher intake of total fruit and vegetables than boys in five of the countries (Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Bulgaria and Slovenia). Mean total fruit intake ranged between 114 and 240 g/d and vegetable intake between 73 and 141 g/d. When using the level ≥400 g/d as a cut-off, only 23·5 % (13·8-37·0 %) of the studied children, depending on country and gender, met the WHO recommendation (fruit juice excluded).

CONCLUSIONS:

Fruit and vegetable consumption was below recommended levels among the schoolchildren in all countries and vegetable intake was lower than fruit intake. The survey shows that there is a need for promotional activities to improve fruit and vegetable consumption in this age group.

PMID:
25023091
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980014001347
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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