Low-income people are most vulnerable to food insecurity; many turn to community and/or charitable food programs to receive free or low-cost food. This needs assessment aims to collect information on the barriers to accessing food programs, the opportunities for improving food access, the barriers to eating fresh vegetables and fruit, and the opportunities to increasing their consumption among food-insecure people in Cobourg, Ontario.
We interviewed food program clients using structured individual interviews consisting of mostly opened-ended questions.
Food program clients identified barriers to using food programs as lack of transportation and the food programs having insufficient quantities of food or inconvenient operating hours. They also stated a lack of available vegetables and fruit at home, and income as barriers to eating more vegetables and fruit, but suggested a local fresh fruit and vegetable bulk-buying program called "Good Food Box" and community gardens as opportunities to help increase their vegetable and fruit intake.
Many of the barriers and opportunities identified can be addressed by working with community partners to help low-income individuals become more food secure.
To understand factors influencing fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption in children, the authors studied the association between F&V consumption in mothers and children in a sample of 1,106 boys and girls in Grades 4-6 in 24 elementary schools in low-income, multiethnic neighborhoods in Montreal, Canada. Approximately 10% of girls and 19% of boys reported not having eaten any vegetables in the week prior to questionnaire administration; 53% of girls and 63% of boys did not consume whole fruits daily. Each unit increase in F&V consumption in mothers was associated with a 10% to 20% increase in F&V consumption in children. Interventions to improve F&V consumption should aim to improve awareness among parents of the importance of fruits and vegetables and of the impact of their own behavior on their children's F&V consumption.
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.
To determine associations of diet, physical activity and television (TV) viewing time with obesity among aboriginal and non-aboriginal youth in conjunction with socio-economic variables.
Cross-sectional study of differences between aboriginal and non-aboriginal groups and associations between lifestyle and socio-economic factors with obesity were examined.
Population data from the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 2.2 conducted in 2004 in the ten provinces of Canada.
A total of 198 aboriginal and 4448 non-aboriginal Canadian youth aged 12-17 years.
Compared to non-aboriginal youth, physical activity participation among aboriginal youth was higher, but consumption of vegetables and dairy products was lower, and more aboriginal youth were 'high' TV watchers. Low income adequacy was associated with decreased odds for obesity among aboriginal youth in contrast to higher odds among non-aboriginal youth. Non-aboriginal 'high' TV watchers consumed more soft drinks and non-whole-grain products than did 'low' TV watchers. Physical activity participation did not differ between 'high' and 'low' TV watchers for both groups, and was associated with lowered odds for obesity only among aboriginal youth.
Sociodemographic and lifestyle risk factors associated with obesity differ between aboriginal and non-aboriginal youth. These findings may be useful for guiding intervention efforts.
To examine absolute socio-economic differences in food habits and their changes over time.
A longitudinal study using the cohort baseline mail surveys conducted in 2000-2002 (n 8960, response rate 67 %) and the follow-up in 2007 (n 7332, response rate 83 %), including data on seven food habits recommended in the national dietary guidelines, as well as socio-economic and sociodemographic variables.
Data from the Helsinki Health Study survey, followed up for 5-7 years.
Municipal employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland.
Apart from fish and vegetable-based margarine on bread, the proportions of the recommended food items were higher for women than for men. The consumption of the recommended food items either increased or remained stable over the follow-up period. On the basis of the slope index of inequality (SII) it was observed that socio-economic differences widened with regard to the consumption of fresh vegetables and fish and use of vegetable-based margarine or oil in cooking, with the upper classes consuming these foods more often. The largest differences were observed in the consumption of fresh vegetables, for which the SII value among women was 2·38 (95 % CI 1·93, 2·95) at baseline and 2·47 (95 % CI 2·01, 3·03) at follow-up, and 3·36 (95 % CI 1·80, 6·28) and 3·47 (95 % CI 1·95, 6·19) for men, respectively. Socio-economic differences were non-existent for milk, and the reverse was observed for dark bread and vegetable-based margarine on bread.
Consumption of the recommended food items increased in the examined cohort over time. This increase was mostly similar throughout the socio-economic groups and thus the socio-economic differences remained stable. The upper classes followed the guidelines better with regard to the consumption of vegetables and fish and in the use of vegetable-based margarine or oil in cooking.
High rates of childhood obesity have generated interest among policy makers to improve the school food environment and increase students' levels of physical activity. The purpose of this study was to examine school-level changes associated with implementation of the Food and Beverage Sales in Schools (FBSS) and Daily Physical Activity (DPA) guidelines in British Columbia, Canada.
Elementary and middle/high school principals completed a survey on the school food and physical activity environment in 2007-08 (N=513) and 2011-12 (N=490). Hierarchical mixed effects regression was used to examine changes in: 1) availability of food and beverages; 2) minutes per day of Physical Education (PE); 3) delivery method of PE; and 4) school community support. Models controlled for school enrollment and community type, education and income.
After policy implementation was expected, more elementary schools provided access to fruits and vegetables and less to 100% fruit juice. Fewer middle/high schools provided access to sugar-sweetened beverages, French fries, baked goods, salty snacks and chocolate/candy. Schools were more likely to meet 150 min/week of PE for grade 6 students, and offer more minutes of PE per week for grade 8 and 10 students including changes to PE delivery method. School community support for nutrition and physical activity policies increased over time.
Positive changes to the school food environment occurred after schools were expected to implement the FBSS and DPA guidelines. Reported changes to the school environment are encouraging and provide support for guidelines and policies that focus on increasing healthy eating and physical activity in schools.
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OBJECTIVES: We assessed changes in cardiovascular disease-related health outcomes and risk factors among American Indians and Alaska Natives by age and gender. METHODS: We used cross-sectional data from the 1995 to 1996 and the 2005 to 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The respondents were 2548 American Indian and Alaska Native women and men aged 18 years or older in 1995-1996 and 11 104 women and men in 2005-2006. We analyzed the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cigarette smoking, sedentary behavior, and low vegetable or fruit intake. RESULTS: From 1995-1996 to 2005-2006, the adjusted prevalence of diabetes among American Indians and Alaska Natives increased by 26.9%, from 6.7% to 8.5%, and obesity increased by 25.3%, from 24.9% to 31.2%. Hypertension increased by 5%, from 28.1% to 29.5%. Multiple logistic models showed no meaningful changes in smoking, sedentary behavior, or intake of fruits or vegetables. In 2005-2006, 79% of the population had 1 or more of the 6 risk factors, and 46% had 2 or more. CONCLUSIONS: Diabetes, obesity, and hypertension and their associated risk factors should be studied further among urban, rural, and reservation American Indian and Alaska Native populations, and effective primary and secondary prevention efforts are critical.
Physical access to stores selling groceries, fresh fruit and vegetables (FV) is essential for urban dwellers. In Canadian cities where low-density development practices are common, social and material deprivation may be compounded by poor geographic access to healthy food. This case study examines access to food stores selling fresh FV in Gatineau, Quebec, to identify areas where poor access is coincident with high deprivation.
Food retailers were identified using two secondary sources and each store was visited to establish the total surface area devoted to the sale of fresh FV. Four population-weighted accessibility measures were then calculated for each dissemination area (DA) using road network distances. A deprivation index was created using variables from the 2006 Statistics Canada census, also at the scale of the DA. Finally, six classes of accessibility to a healthy diet were constructed using a k-means classification procedure. These were mapped and superimposed over high deprivation areas.
Overall, deprivation is positively correlated with better accessibility. However, more than 18,000 residents (7.5% of the population) live in high deprivation areas characterized by large distances to the nearest retail food store (means of 1.4 km or greater) and virtually no access to fresh FV within walking distance (radius of 1 km).
In this research, we identified areas where poor geographic access may introduce an additional constraint for residents already dealing with the challenges of limited financial and social resources. Our results may help guide local food security policies and initiatives.
While a dietary pattern is often believed to be stable in a population, there is limited research assessing its stability over time. The objective of this study is to explore and compare major dietary patterns derived for the Canadian subpopulation residing in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), through two time-separated studies using an identical method.
In this study, we derived and compared the major dietary patterns derived from two independent studies in the NL adult population. The first study was based on the healthy controls from a large population-based case-control study (CCS) in 2005. The second was from a food-frequency questionnaire validation project (FFQVP) conducted in 2012. In both studies, participants were recruited in the same manner and dietary information was collected by an identical self-administered food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Exploratory common factor analysis was conducted to identify major dietary patterns. A comparison was conducted between the two study populations.
Four major dietary patterns were identified: Meat, Vegetables/fruits, Fish, and Grains explaining 22%, 20%, 12% and 9% variance respectively, with a total variance of 63%. Three major dietary patterns were derived for the controls of the CCS: Meat, Plant-based diet, and Fish explaining 24%, 20%, and 10% variance respectively, with a total variance of 54%. As the Plant-based diet pattern derived for the CCS was a combination of the Vegetables/fruits and Grains patterns derived for the FFQVP, no considerable difference in dietary patterns was found between the two studies.
A comparison between two time-separated studies suggests that dietary patterns of the NL adult population have remained reasonably stable over almost a decade.