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Understanding the fruit and vegetable consumption behaviour ofundergraduates: A focus group study. Emily Kothe & Dr Barbara MullanEmily Kothe
BackgroundInadequate F&V consumption accounts for morethan 3% of the total Australian burden of disease,and 11% of the total cancer burden in Australia.19-24 year olds are less likely than any other agegroup to consume adequate amounts of fruitsand/or vegetables.56% of young people don’t eat enough fruit, and77% don’t eat enough vegetables.
DesignMethod:1 hour focus groups with 5-7 participants in eachgroup. Primary topics for investigation includefactors which facilitate or inhibit fruit and vegetableconsumption.Focus groups were transcribed verbatim andcommon themes identified using frameworkanalysis.
DesignParticipants:30 undergraduate students, aged 18-24.Predominantly femalePredominantly Australian EuropeanMost still lived at home
Results: Emergent barriersCost “living out of home you’re very much restricted by how much money you have in your wallet. Like I seriously eat rice or pasta for a week cause I don’t get paid” "If apples were like 50 cents Id eat them all the time"
Results: Emergent barriersDifficulty in consuming enough food to meetrequirements “It is so hard to eat. At least I find the five veggies a day, I can’t. Cause especially what is considered a serve is like what 100g? …and that’s dinner basically, just all vegetables and nothing else.”"It’s so hard to have that much, though. It’s tonnes."
Results: Emergent barriersFruit/veg are unhealthy"I had this thing in my head that fruit’s bad...I used to eat it and then people used to tell me there was heaps of sugar in fruit and I shouldn’t eat it, so I stopped eating it for a long time." "Fruit makes you fat" "Lettuce and cucumber and just 80-85% water, there is nothing good in them..."
Results: Emergent barriers Preparation and storage “They [brussel sprouts] are good in some kind of curry but I cant cook that kind of curry” "By the time I go to eat them [fruit] its all rotten. Chocolate is looking pretty good then"
What next?Based on this research we are now developinginterventions to modify people’s perception of fruitsand vegetables.