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Limited research is available on whether participation in healthy food incentive programmes is associated with higher fruit and vegetable intake. The objective of the present study was to determine fruit and vegetable intake among participants in the Produce Plus Program, a farmers’ market-based healthy food incentive programme in Washington, DC, and identify demographic and behavioural factors associated with higher fruit and vegetable intake.
Using a cross-sectional survey, programme participants were interviewed at markets across DC between June and September 2015. Questions included the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) fruit and vegetable module. Fruit and vegetable intake among 2013 DC BRFSS participants reporting annual household incomes of ≤$US 35 000 was calculated for context.
Washington, DC, USA.
Participants (n 288) in the Produce Plus Program.
On average, participants reported consuming both fruits (interquartile range: 1·0–3·0) and vegetables (interquartile range: 1·3–3·5) two times/d. Participants who reported eating home-cooked meals ≥3 times/week also reported higher median fruit (2·0 v. 0·8) and vegetable (2·3 v. 1·3) intake compared with those eating home-cooked meals less frequently. No statistically significant differences in reported median fruit or vegetable intake were observed over the course of the farmers’ market (June v. August/September) season.
Produce Plus Program participants reported higher median fruit and vegetable intake compared with DC BRFSS respondents with similar incomes, but still below recommended levels. More frequent home-cooked meals were associated with higher fruit and vegetable intake. Thus, efforts to increase home cooking may represent an opportunity to increase fruit and vegetable intake among healthy food incentive participants.
To assess progress towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids (TFA) in foods after the 2008 Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recommendation of virtual elimination of TFA in Latin America.
A descriptive, comparative analysis of foods that were likely to contain TFA and were commonly consumed in four cities in Latin America.
San José (Costa Rica), Mexico City (Mexico), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina).
Foods from each city were sampled in 2011; TFA content was analysed using GC. TFA of selected foods was also monitored in 2016.
In 2011–2016, there was a significant decrease in the content of TFA in the sampled foods across all sites, particularly in Buenos Aires (from 12·6–34·8 % range in 2011–2012 to nearly 0 % in 2015–2016). All sample products met the recommended levels of TFA content set by the PAHO. TFA were replaced with a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fats.
Our results indicate a virtual elimination of TFA from major food sources in the cities studied. This could be due to a combination of factors, including recommendations by national and global public health authorities, voluntary and/or mandatory food reformulation made by the food industry.
To understand how mothers who recently migrated from Central America to the USA feed their children in a neighbourhood saturated with unhealthful food choices (‘food swamp’) and to formulate a mother-driven plan of action to facilitate their acquisition of foods.
We purposively sampled mothers with children (<10 years old) who were recent immigrants/refugees from Central America and lived in a ‘food swamp’ neighbourhood. We used the photovoice approach to elicit textual data from thirty in-depth interviews, a participatory workshop, and visual data from photographs. Analyses were guided by the Social Ecological Framework and Social Cognitive Theory to identify barriers, facilitators and strategies that support parents in feeding their children.
Mothers valued foods that they considered to be ‘traditional’ and ‘healthful’. They navigated their food retail environment looking for these foods (of good quality and well-priced). Food values were reinforced by pre-migration food customs and culture, health professionals’ advice and, in some cases, by the desire to avoid conflict with their children. The neighbourhood food environment could directly influence children’s food preferences and often created conflict between what the child wanted to eat and the foods that mothers valued. Mothers in this ‘food swamp’ wanted to be engaged in addressing the selection of foods offered in schools and in neighbourhood food venues to reflect their own food values.
These mothers’ feeding choices were influenced directly by their food values, and indirectly by the neighbourhood and school food environments via their children’s preferences.
To examine the socio-economic and lifestyle determinants of cooking oil choice in Costa Rica during the last decade (1994–2004).
Cross-sectional study. Subjects (total n = 2274) belonged to the control population of a large case–control study; they were recruited yearly. Data about type of oil used for cooking, dietary intake, socio-economic and demographic characteristics were collected.
A dietitian visited all subjects and conducted the interviews at their homes; all subjects lived in the Costa Rican central valley region.
Adult, free-living, rural and urban Costa Ricans with no history of myocardial infarction and physical or mental disability.
The odds of choosing soybean over palm oil increased significantly each year (P < 0.05) and was determined by high socio-economic status (SES) and variables that suggest health awareness (self-reported history of hypertension, high cholesterol, multivitamin use and intake of green leafy vegetables). The odds of choosing other unsaturated oils, namely corn and sunflower, over soybean oil also increased yearly (P < 0.05) and was associated with the same two factors (high SES and health awareness). Palm oil users remained in the lowest SES tertile and were more likely to live in rural areas. Across all SES tertiles, high health awareness determined the odds of choosing other unsaturated oils over palm oil, and soybean oil (P < 0.05).
These data show that, in addition to SES, health awareness is associated with the selection of unsaturated oils over palm oil in a developing country undergoing transition. These data should be considered when targeting nutrition messages and policies that promote better dietary choices.
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