Determinants of Fruit, Vegetable, and Dairy Consumption in a Sample of Schoolchildren, Northern Serbia, 2012
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Determinants of Fruit, Vegetable, and Dairy Consumption in a Sample of Schoolchildren, Northern Serbia, 2012

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    Introduction Insufficient intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products among children is a serious nutrition-related concern. The aim of our study was to determine behavioral and environmental factors that influence fruit, vegetable, and dairy consumption among Serbian schoolchildren. Methods We used 24-hour recall to measure fruit, vegetable, and dairy intake of schoolchildren (N = 212) aged 8 to 11 years from 2 elementary schools in a local community in Serbia. We evaluated potential determinants of intake by using a 48-item questionnaire that asked about children’s behaviors, perceptions of others’ expectations and behaviors, reinforcement of children’s behaviors, and availability of fruits, vegetables, and dairy at home and school. Children completed written questionnaires during 1 school class under teacher supervision. Binary logistic regression was used to analyze determinants of fruit, vegetable, and dairy intake. Results Negative predictors of fruit intake were expectations from teacher and parents (P <.001) to eat fruit and availability of fruit in school. Vegetable intake was positively related to paternal modeling behavior (P <.001) and availability of vegetables at home (P = .04). Dairy intake was positively influenced by parental reinforcement (P = .03). Conclusion Various personal and environmental factors are associated with children’s intake of fruits, vegetables, and dairy. Interventions to promote fruit, vegetable, and dairy consumption in Serbian schoolchildren should focus on modeling and reinforcement by parents and teachers and increasing availability at school and at home.
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