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To investigate socio-economic differences in changes in fruit and vegetable intake between 2004 and 2011 and explore the mediating role of financial barriers in this change.
Respondents completed a self-reported questionnaire in 2004 and 2011, including questions on fruit and vegetable intake (frequency per week), indicators of socio-economic position (education, income) and perceived financial barriers (fruits/vegetables are expensive, financial distress). Associations were analysed using ordinal logistic regression. The mediating role of financial barriers in the association between socio-economic position and change in fruit and vegetable intake was studied with the Baron and Kenny approach.
Longitudinal GLOBE study.
A total of 2978 Dutch adults aged 25–75 years.
Respondents with the lowest income in 2004 were more likely to report a decrease in intake of cooked vegetables (P-trend<0·001) and raw vegetables (P-trend<0·001) between 2004 and 2011, compared with those with the highest income level. Respondents with the lowest education level in 2004 were more likely to report a decrease in intake of fruits (P-trend=0·021), cooked vegetables (P-trend=0·033), raw vegetables (P-trend<0·001) and fruit juice (P-trend=0·027) between 2004 and 2011, compared with those with the highest education level. Financial barriers partially mediated the association between income and education and the decrease in fruit and cooked vegetable intake between 2004 and 2011.
These results show a widening of relative income and educational differences in fruit and vegetable intake between 2004 and 2011. Financial barriers explained a small part of this widening.
The present study examined associations of several home and neighbourhood environmental variables with fruit consumption and explored whether these associations were mediated by variables derived from the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and by habit strength.
Data of the Dutch GLOBE study on household and neighbourhood environment, fruit intake and related factors were used, obtained by self-administered questionnaires (cross-sectional), face-to-face interviews and audits.
The city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands
Adults (n 333; mean age 58 years, 54 % female).
Multiple mediation analyses were conducted using regression analyses to assess the association between environmental variables and fruit consumption, as well as mediation of these associations by TPB variables and by habit strength. Intention, perceived behaviour control, subjective norm and habit strength were associated with fruit intake. None of the neighbourhood environmental variables was directly or indirectly associated with fruit intake. The home environmental variable ‘modelling behaviour by family members’ was indirectly, but not directly, associated with fruit intake. Habit strength and perceived behaviour control explained most of the mediated effect (71·9 %).
Modelling behaviour by family members was indirectly associated with fruit intake through habit strength and perceived behaviour control. None of the neighbourhood variables was directly or indirectly, through any of the proposed mediators, associated with adult fruit intake. These findings suggest that future interventions promoting fruit intake should address a combination of the home environment (especially modelling behaviour by family members), TPB variables and habit strength for fruit intake.
To review the literature examining associations between environmental factors, energy and fat intakes among adults, and to identify issues for future research.
Literature searches of studies published between 1980 and 2004 were conducted in major databases (i.e. PubMed, Human Nutrition, Web of Science, PsychInfo, Sociofile). Additional articles were located by citation tracking.
Twenty-one articles met the inclusion criteria. No study provided a clear conceptualisation of how environmental factors may influence these dietary intakes. Availability, social, cultural and material aspects of the environment were relatively understudied compared with other factors such as seasonal/day of the week variation and work-related factors. Few studies examined the specific environmental factors implicated in the obesity epidemic, and there was little study replication. All studies were observational and cross-sectional.
It is too premature to conclude whether or not environmental factors play a role in obesogenic and unhealthy dietary intakes. More studies need to examine associations with those environmental factors thought to contribute to obesogenic environments. There needs to be more development in theories that conceptualise the relationship between environmental factors and dietary intakes.
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