Do Fruit and Vegetable Policies, Socio-Environmental Factors, and Physical Activity Influence Fruit and Vegetable Intake Among Adolescents?

Sandra A. Darfour-Oduro, Juan E. Andrade, Diana S. Grigsby-Toussaint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Several factors are known to influence the intake of fruits and vegetables (FV) among adolescents. However, few studies have examined the role that FV policies and associated factors (such as availability of food at home, parental support, and physical activity) play on consumption of FV, particularly among adolescents in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Method: Adolescent data (except for FV policy status) were obtained from the Global School-based Student Health Survey from 2004 to 2013. Information on FV policies was obtained from government ministries, World Health Organization databases, Scopus, and PubMed. Countries were designated as having the policy if the policy was issued at least a year before Global School-based Student Health Survey data collection (n = 13 LMICs). Countries without FV policies were based on the absence of a policy between 2004 and 2013 (n = 11 LMICs). The total analytic sample included 89,843 adolescents from 24 countries. Results: Logistic regression models revealed a positive association between the presence of FV policy and the adequate consumption of FV (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.04; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.74–2.40; p-value < .001). Parental supervision was positively associated with sufficient intake of FV (AOR = 1.62; 95% CI: 1.42–1.84; p-value < .001). Physical activity was also positively associated with adolescents consuming ≥5 servings of FV daily (AOR = 1.30; 95% CI: 1.13–1.50; p-value < .001). Conclusion: Adolescents' physical environment (presence of FV policies, unavailability of food), social environment (parental connectedness, supervision, and bonding), and physical activity behavior are all significant predictors of adolescents' intake of FV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Adolescents
  • Fruit and vegetable policies
  • Fruits and vegetables intake
  • Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)
  • Parental supervision
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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