Fruit and vegetable intakes, associated characteristics and perceptions of current and future availability in Dutch university students

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate fruit and vegetable (F&V) intakes of university students and associated demographic and lifestyle characteristics, and students' perceptions of F&V availability and F&V intervention strategies in the university environment.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional questionnaire data were collected; F&V intakes were measured using a food frequency tool. Multivariable linear regression analyses were used to analyse the associations between demographic and lifestyle characteristics and F&V intakes.

SETTING: Universities in the Netherlands.

SUBJECTS: University students (n 717).

RESULTS: The majority of students did not adhere to Dutch F&V guidelines (71 % and 93 %, respectively). Fruit intake was lower among students who were male, living independently, enrolled in a technical study, not adhering to physical activity guidelines, and heavy to excessive alcohol drinkers. Vegetable intake was lower among students who were non-Dutch, living with their parents, not adhering to physical activity guidelines, and moderate and heavy to excessive alcohol drinkers. Most students perceived that their university environment offers sufficient healthy foods (60 %) and F&V (65 %), but also indicated that their F&V intakes would increase with interventions concerning affordable F&V in the university canteen (64 %) or university supermarket (60 %). Students were less disposed to indicate that weekly local farmers' markets, vegetable parcels or a vegetable garden would increase their F&V intakes.

CONCLUSIONS: Dutch university students do not consume enough F&V. Future efforts that aim to promote students' F&V intakes should consider the differences between subgroups based on demographic and lifestyle characteristics and that affordable F&V in the university environment might be an effective strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1951-1959
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume22
Issue number11
Early online date12 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Fruit and vegetable intake
  • Healthy diet
  • Nutrition intervention
  • Student
  • University

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