Cost May Not Be Barrier To Eating Produce

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (UPI) — The number of servings of fruit and vegetables people eat has less to do with price and more to do with shopping experience, U.S. researchers found.

The study by lead author Jonathan L. Blitstein, a research psychologist at Research Triangle Park International, and colleagues found fruit and vegetable intake was unusually high in their primarily minority and low-income, inner-city sample. They found 85.5 percent reported eating more than three servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

In addition, participants who made six shopping trips per month ate more fruit and vegetables than those who shopped an average of once a week, the study said.

The study also found the study participants who shopped in stores, co-ops or farmers’ markets they considered convenient and offered high levels of quality and selection were more likely to eat three or more servings of fruit and vegetables daily.

However, cost was not found to be a factor in how many servings of fruits and vegetables participants ate. The study found those who listed cost as a barrier to purchasing fruits and vegetables ate the same amount of produce as those who did not, Blitstein said.

The researchers used a secondary analysis of baseline data provided by 495 participants who took part in a social marketing intervention during the winter of 2007 to 2008.

Their study was published in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

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