Background. The effect of dieting and weight-control perceptions, goals, and behaviors on food intake, including fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption, is not completely understood. We examined these associations in 1,755 young adolescents. Methods. Data from the Teens Eating for Energy and Nutrition at School (TEENS) study were analyzed separately by gender using mixed linear modeling. Surveys completed at the beginning and end of 7th grade asked students to self-report fruit and vegetable consumption, weight-related perceptions, goals, and behaviors, and demographic variables. Results. Underweight boys reported 0.8 fewer F&V servings per day than boys who reported their weight to be 'about right' (P = 0.002), while overweight girls reported 0.7 fewer F&V than girls who reported their weight to be 'about right' (P = 0.005). Boys with weight-related goals consumed significantly more F&V than did boys not wanting to do anything about their weight (P < 0.05). Girls engaging in weight-related behaviors reported 0.7 more F&V than girls who did not engage in weight-related behaviors (P = 0.006). Conclusions. Because F&V intake is low among all adolescents, population interventions should take place to increase F&V intake. These data support the inclusion of gender-specific intervention components related to weight-related perceptions, goals, and behaviors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health