In order to more effectively promote fruit and vegetable intake among children and adolescents, insight into determinants of intake is necessary. We conducted a review of the literature for potential determinants of fruit and vegetable intake in children and adolescents.
Papers were identified from Medline and PsycINFO by using all combinations of the search terms: "fruit(s) or vegetable(s)" and "children or adolescents". Quantitative research examining determinants of fruit and/or vegetable intake among children and adolescents aged 6–18 years were included. The selection and review process was conducted according to a four-step protocol resulting in information on country, population, design, methodology, theoretical basis, instrument used for measuring intake, statistical analysis, included independent variables, and effect sizes.
Ninety-eight papers were included. A large number of potential determinants have been studied among children and adolescents. However, for many presumed determinants convincing evidence is lacking, mostly because of paucity of studies. The determinants best supported by evidence are: age, gender, socio-economic position, preferences, parental intake, and home availability/accessibility. Girls and younger children tend to have a higher or more frequent intake than boys and older children. Socio-economic position, preferences, parental intake, and home availability/accessibility are all consistently positively associated with intake.
The determinants most consistently supported by evidence are gender, age, socio-economic position, preferences, parental intake and home availability/accessibility. There is a need for internationally comparative, longitudinal, theory-based and multi-level studies taking both personal and environmental factors into account.
This paper is published as part of the special Pro Children series in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Please see [http://www.ijbnp.org/content/3/1/26] for the relevant editorial.