Influences on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in College Freshmen 18-24 Years Old at Mississippi State University
Research has demonstrated that >5 servings of fruits and vegetables (F&V) per day improve health. Eighty-three percent of 18-24 year olds, including college students, do not meet recommendations. For the study, freshmen at MSU were recruited. Included freshmen (n=132), 6 percent, received a sociodemographic and intake survey. Eighty subjects, 61 percent, completed the survey. Of these subjects (n=33), 41 percent, participated in focus groups. X2 analyses assessed intake and sociodemographics. Paired t-test compared BMI and intake. Focus group analyses determined additional influences. Results indicated nine percent of subjects consumed >5 servings, and 23 percent of subjects consumed >3 servings. >3 servings was insignificant to sociodemographics. Significance occurred between income and french fry and salad, parental environment and french fry, and gender and white potatoes. Focus groups revealed additional factors influenced intake. In conclusion, F&V consumption was inadequate, placing students at health risks. Dietary interventions should address barriers other than sociodemographics.