Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Rural Victorian School Ch | 46340

Primary Health Care: Open Access

ISSN - 2167-1079


Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Rural Victorian School Children

Ervin K, Dalle Nogare N, Orr J, Soutter E and Spiller R

Fruit and vegetable consumption is accepted as the cornerstone of healthy eating practices. In turn, healthy eating is linked to the prevention of a number of chronic diseases. Healthy eating practices should begin in early childhood and continue throughout life. This study aimed to determine fruit and vegetable consumption in children aged 6-12 years in three local government areas in rural Australia, and examines the factors which influence consumption, such as access, cost and parental education and behaviours. Parents of school children in grades one and three from 41 schools completed a survey regarding fruit and vegetable consumption, and associated factors, for their child. Five hundred and forty four surveys were completed and returned. The results showed that while fruit consumption was within the recommended guidelines for 97% of children, only 12% ate the recommended serves of vegetables for this age group. The results did not vary between the age and gender of children nor parental income or education. Parental sources of knowledge for healthy eating was reported as predominantly family and friends as well as newspapers, internet and magazines. Examining fruit and vegetable consumption separately highlighted the need for a focused intervention on increasing vegetable consumption in the three local government areas. The sources of parental knowledge provided important information for health promotion activities