First, to explore item pools developed to measure the physical home environment of pre-school children and assess the psychometric properties of these item pools; second, to explore associations between this environment and vegetable consumption among Norwegian 3-5-year-olds.
Data were collected in three steps: (i) a parental web-based questionnaire assessing the child's vegetable intake and factors potentially influencing the child's vegetable consumption; (ii) direct observation of the children's fruit, berry and vegetable intakes at two meals in one day in the kindergarten; and (iii) a parental web-based 24 h recall.
The target group for this study was pre-school children born in 2010 and 2011, attending public or private kindergartens in the counties of Vestfold and Buskerud, Norway.
A total of 633 children participated.
Principal component analysis on the thirteen-item pool assessing availability/accessibility resulted in two factors labelled 'availability at home' and 'accessibility at home', while the eight-item pool assessing barriers resulted in two factors labelled 'serving barriers' and 'purchase barriers'. The psychometric properties of these factors were satisfactory. Linear regression of the associations between vegetable intake and the factors showed generally positive associations with 'availability at home' and 'accessibility at home' and negative associations with 'serving barriers'.
This age group has so far been understudied and there is a need for comparable studies. Our findings highlight the importance of targeting the physical home environment of pre-school children in future interventions as there are important modifiable factors that both promote and hinder vegetable consumption in this environment.
The home environment is the first environment to shape childhood dietary habits and food preferences, hence greater understanding of home environmental factors associated with vegetable consumption among young children is needed. The objective has been to examine questionnaire items developed to measure the sociocultural home environment of children focusing on vegetables and to assess the psychometric properties of the resulting factors. Further, to explore associations between the environmental factors and vegetable consumption among Norwegian 3-5 year olds. Parents (n 633) were invited to participate and filled in a questionnaire assessing the child's vegetable intake and factors potentially influencing this, along with a 24-h recall of their child's fruit and vegetable intake. Children's fruit and vegetable intakes at two meals in one day in the kindergarten were observed by researchers. Principal components analysis was used to examine items assessing the sociocultural home environment. Encouragement items resulted in factors labelled "reactive encouragement", "child involvement" and "reward". Modelling items resulted in the factors labelled "active role model" and "practical role model". Items assessing negative parental attitudes resulted in the factor labelled "negative parental attitudes" and items assessing family pressure/demand resulted in the factor labelled "family demand". The psychometric properties of the factors were for most satisfactory. Linear regression of the associations between vegetable intake and the factors showed, as expected, generally positive associations with "child involvement", "practical role model" and "family demand", and negative associations with "negative parental attitudes" and "reward". Unexpectedly, "reactive encouragement" was negatively associated with vegetable consumption. In conclusion, associations between sociocultural home environmental factors and children's vegetable consumption showed both expected and unexpected associations some of which differed by maternal education - pointing to a need for further comparable studies.
A few studies have investigated tracking of dietary patterns or nutrient intake in pre-school children, but no studies have been identified examining tracking of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), fruit and vegetable intakes in early childhood (1-7 year olds). The purpose of this study was to investigate changes and tracking of intakes of fruit, vegetables and SSB, and association between maternal education and dietary tracking, from 18 months to 7 years of age.
Longitudinal data from the nation-wide Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health were used, including 9025 children participating at three time points (18 months, 36 months and 7 years). Frequencies of fruit, vegetables and SSB were assessed by questionnaire. Slightly different questions were used at each time point to collect information about intake. Maternal education was categorized into =?12 years, 13-16 years, =?17 years. Cross-tabulation, Spearman's rho and multinomial logistic regression were used for assessing change, tracking and differences by maternal education.
Analyses by gender indicated largest changes for intake of fruit and SSB from age 18 months to 7 years. Fair to moderate tracking coefficients (Spearman's rho = 0.23-0.46) for intake of fruit, vegetables and SSB were found and children assigned to low, medium and high frequency of consumption at 18 months continued to be in the same group at age 36 months and 7 years. Children of mothers with low education consumed fruit and vegetables less often and SSB more often compared to children of mothers with high education at 18 months of age. Children with higher educated mothers had lower odds for increasing fruit intake or decreasing SSB intake, compared to children with lower educated mothers showing a stable intake.
The tracking coefficients for intakes were fair to moderate and differences in intakes according to maternal education were found already at age 18 months. This suggests that promotion of healthy dietary behaviours at an early age is important to prevent unfavourable dietary behaviours later in childhood. Moreover, it seems important to target mothers in nutrition interventions for improving dietary habits among children.
BACKGROUND: We present a survey of the intake of fruit and vegetables among Norwegian children and adolescents and examine the association between fruit and vegetable intake and intake of macronutrients and micronutrients. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In 2000 and 2001, a nationwide dietary survey using four-days records was conducted among four-year-olds and students in the fourth and eighth grades (UNGKOST-2000). RESULTS: The average intake of fruit and vegetables was nearly 250 gram per day, increasing with age. The percentages of children eating more than 500 gram fruit and vegetables per day were 5% among the four-year-olds, 7% among fourth-graders, and 11% among eighth-graders. A positive association was observed between intake of fruit and vegetables and intake of fibre and all micronutrients, while a negative association was found between fruit and vegetable intake and percentage of energy coming from added sugar and saturated fatty acids. INTERPRETATION: The study shows that children and adolescents have less than half the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, higher intake of fruit and vegetables is associated with higher dietary quality.
A predominantly plant-based diet reduces the risk for development of several chronic diseases. It is often assumed that antioxidants contribute to this protection, but results from intervention trials with single antioxidants administered as supplements quite consistently do not support any benefit. Because dietary plants contain several hundred different antioxidants, it would be useful to know the total concentration of electron-donating antioxidants (i.e., reductants) in individual items. Such data might be useful in the identification of the most beneficial dietary plants. We have assessed systematically total antioxidants in a variety of dietary plants used worldwide, including various fruits, berries, vegetables, cereals, nuts and pulses. When possible, we analyzed three or more samples of dietary plants from three different geographic regions in the world. Total antioxidants was assessed by the reduction of Fe(3+) to Fe(2+) (i.e., the FRAP assay), which occurred rapidly with all reductants with half-reaction reduction potentials above that of Fe(3+)/Fe(2+). The values, therefore, expressed the corresponding concentration of electron-donating antioxidants. Our results demonstrated that there is more than a 1000-fold difference among total antioxidants in various dietary plants. Plants that contain most antioxidants included members of several families, such as Rosaceae (dog rose, sour cherry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry), Empetraceae (crowberry), Ericaceae (blueberry), Grossulariaceae (black currant), Juglandaceae (walnut), Asteraceae (sunflower seed), Punicaceae (pomegranate) and Zingiberaceae (ginger). In a Norwegian diet, fruits, berries and cereals contributed 43.6%, 27.1% and 11.7%, respectively, of the total intake of plant antioxidants. Vegetables contributed only 8.9%. The systematic analysis presented here will facilitate research into the nutritional role of the combined effect of antioxidants in dietary plants.
BACKGROUND: Due to the random and systematic measurement errors associated with current dietary assessment instruments, there is a need to develop more objective methods of measuring the intake of foods of importance to human health. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to test whether urinary excretion of flavonoids could be used to identify subjects who are meeting Norwegian recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake (5 servings per day) from individuals who are consuming the national average amount of fruits and vegetables (2 servings per day). DESIGN: Twenty-four-hour urine samples were collected in a strict crossover controlled feeding study. Forty healthy subjects (19-34 years) were included in the study. After a 1-week run-in period, one group was given a controlled diet that included 2 servings (300 g) of fruits and vegetables daily for 14 days, while the other group was given a diet containing 5 servings (750 g) per day. Following a 2-week washout and a 1 week run-in period, the regimens were switched between the groups. RESULTS: An increased intake of mixed fruits and vegetables from 2 to 5 servings per day significantly enhanced urinary excretion of eriodictyol, naringenin, hesperetin, quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, and tamarixetin. The citrus flavonoids naringenin and hesperetin showed a steep dose-response relationship to dietary intake of fruits and vegetables, whereas the association to eriodictyol, quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, and tamarixetin was more moderate. CONCLUSION: The present study indicates that urinary excretion of dietary flavonoids may be used to assess changes of mixed fruit and vegetable intake corresponding to an increase from the present national intake in Norway to the recommended amount of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Validity and reproducibility were evaluated of a new questionnaire to assess fruit and vegetable intakes in 11- to 12-year-old children. METHODS: The precoded teacher-assisted self-administered questionnaire included two sections: a 24-hour recall part and a food frequency part. Validity was tested in 4 countries (Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Portugal; n = 43-60 per country) using a 1-day weighed food record and 7-day food records as reference methods. Test-retest (7-12 days apart) reproducibility was assessed in 6 countries (Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Spain; n = 60-74 per country). RESULTS: Spearman rank correlations for fruit and vegetable intake according to the frequency part and the 7-day food record ranged between r = 0.40-0.53. Between 25-50% were classified into the same quartile and 70-88% into the same or adjacent quartile. Test-retest Spearman rank correlations for the food frequency part were r = 0.47-0.84. Three countries showed no significant difference between fruit intake as assessed with the 24-hour recall part and the 1-day weighed food record, and 2 countries showed no significant difference for vegetables. In the other countries, the 24-hour recall part resulted in substantially higher mean intake levels. CONCLUSION: Validity and reproducibility as to ranking of subjects were regarded to be satisfactory in all countries. Group mean intake, based on the original 24-hour part, was valid for fruit in 3 countries and for vegetables in 2 countries, and this part was subsequently adjusted to avoid overestimation, before the questionnaire was used in the Pro Children study.