Low fruit and vegetable intake linked to poor mental health across adolescence

  • Huang P & al.
  • Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
  • 8 Feb 2019

  • curated by Sarfaroj Khan
  • UK Medical News
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A recent study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, reports that very low fruit and vegetable consumption (FV) (

Researchers evaluated 4683 adolescents (age, 11-13 years) who were followed up at 14-16 years using data from Determinants of Adolescents (now young Adult) Social well-being and Health (DASH) longitudinal study. FV was assessed using validated questions on the number of portions consumed daily, while mental health was measured using Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire as mean Total Difficulties Score (TDS >17) was used to identify probable clinical cases.

Low FV was common in adolescents with nearly 60-70% of them reporting 17 (OR, 1.43; P=.007). Adjustment for age, gender, ethnicity and lifestyles did not alter the association between FV and mental health and low parental care partly attenuated this association.

Based on the findings of this study, researchers suggested, “Parenting play a vital role in the association between FV and mental health, it should engage with the cultural complexity of family lives of young people in urban environments.”

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