Picky eating and fruit and vegetable consumption in college students
About this resource
Picky eating (PE) may be an important individual-level factor related to fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption in adulthood. Past studies showing negative relationships between Adult PE and F&V servings and variety have been limited by measurement issues. The purpose of the present study was replicate these relationships in college students using a well-validated F&V screener and comprehensive measure of adult PE. 1219 college students completed an online survey which included measures of adult PE, F&V daily servings, F&V variety, and other eating behaviors. Partial correlations were calculated, controlling for demographic factors and traditional disordered eating behavior, between the variables of interest. Factor analysis was also utilized to confirm the factor structure of the Adult Picky Eating Questionnaire (APEQ) in a college sample. Partial correlations revealed significant negative relationships between PE and measures of F&V servings and variety. Factor analysis confirmed the utility of the APEQ in a college sample. College students who reported higher levels of PE behaviors and attitudes were more likely to eat less fruits and vegetables, and reported lower F&V variety. Given that F&V servings and variety are related to adequate nutrient intake, and greater F&V consumption is a protective factor against chronic disease risk, the rigid inflexible eating patterns associated with adult PE should be further explored in future research aimed at increasing F&V consumption.
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