Comparison of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Native and Non‐Native American Populations in Rural Communities

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Fruit and vegetable consumption of Native Americans was compared with that of non‐Native Americans and determinants of fruit and vegetable intake for both populations were found based upon the Theory of Planned Behavior. A one‐time survey was conducted as part of a larger research project funded by the South Dakota Department of Health. The survey was administered in local grocery stores and supermarkets in six South Dakota communities, including two located on Native American reservations. Of the 1000 distributed surveys, 499 were returned with 230 being usable, resulting in a response rate of 49.9%. Wilcoxon signed‐rank test and two regression models were tested using SAS 9.2 software. Dependent variables were fruit and vegetable intake. Attitudes towards health, fruit and vegetable consumption, perceived difficulty, subjective norm and intention were also measured. Community size, family income, employment status and participation in food assistance programmes [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Women, Infants, and Children (SNAP or WIC)] were socio‐demographic control variables. Overall, Native American participants consumed more fruit and vegetables at home and had a more positive attitude towards healthy diets than non‐Native American participants. SNAP or WIC participation, family health, exercise, intention to live healthier than parents, buying healthy food, and fruit and vegetable consumption when eating out were positively associated with fruit and vegetable consumption among Native Americans, while participation in the SNAP or WIC programme had a negative influence on consumption among non‐Native American participants. Family health, exercise, buying healthy food, fruit and vegetable when eating out, and intention to buy healthy food were positively associated with fruit and vegetable consumption among the non‐Native American population. Theory of Planned Behavior variables (e.g. attitude towards healthy food) significantly contributed to the model explaining fruit and vegetable consumption. The fact that SNAP and WIC participation had an opposite influence on the two populations warrants further research.

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International Journal of Consumer Studies





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