Florida Public Health Review


The purpose of this study was to examine fruit and vegetable consumption reported by Florida middle school and high school students and to determine if consumption was associated with: (1) demographic characteristics; (2) body mass index (BMI); and/or (3) weight loss behaviors. Data from the 2009 Florida YRBS and the MSHBS were used. Both surveys used a two-stage cluster sample design, producing a representative sample of students. In addition to socio- demographic variables, independent variables included engaging in weight loss behaviors. Dependent variables were adequate fruit and adequate vegetable consumption. Descriptive, chi-square and logistic regression analyses were performed. Results indicated that less than 25% of youth reported consumption of adequate amounts of fruit and less than 10% reported consuming adequate amounts of vegetables. No significant relationships were found between BMI and either fruit or vegetable consumption. Exercising, both exercising and dieting, fasting, and using pills /powders to lose weight were significantly associated with adequate fruit and vegetable consumption. Dieting to lose weight was significantly associated with adequate vegetable but not adequate fruit consumption. Interventions promoting healthy weight for children and adolescents need to address positive and negative behaviors and encourage greater consumption of fruits and vegetables.