( Prochaska et al., 2005 ). Information collected by the American Public Health Association (no date) states that “Access to healthy food plays a major role in the ability of individuals to follow a healthful diet.” “Unfortunately, income, or lack of it, can
Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption reduces risk factors for cancer, cardiovascular disease and a number of other diet-related chronic diseases. These foodstuffs contain relatively high levels of beneficial phytochemicals (plant-derived, biologically active compounds) among which the preventative activity of antioxidants are most well-known and well-documented. Since small fruit typically contain high levels of antioxidants, increasing their incorporation in the diet is a laudable goal. Media reports of medical studies pertaining to dietary intake and national education initiatives such as the USDA's Food Guide Pyramid and the 5 A Day—for Better Health program have successfully raised public awareness of the health benefits of increased fruit and vegetable consumption, but, as of yet, may not have altered dietary habits. The factors influencing food choice are complex and interrelated. They include: sensory preference, physiological factors (pre- and postingestion), age, gender, lifestyle, behavior, personality, education, income, social attitudes about diet and health, ethnicity and tradition, religious beliefs, social pressures, marketing pressures, available product information and knowledge (labeling, media coverage, etc.) or self-identity beliefs. Some of these factors offer opportunities for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption while others present challenges. With respect to small fruit, food choice factors that tend to increase consumption include public awareness of these products as being beneficial to health and longevity and their image as highly desirable, dessert-like commodities with exquisite flavors. The main factors that deter increased small fruit consumption include their relatively high price per serving and their relative perishability which affects cost, ease of transport and availability. Strategies to capitalize on small fruits' positive attributes and overcome negative attributes with respect to food choice include the application of innovative marketing strategies at all levels and the expansion of research efforts to optimize the health benefits and sensory quality of these products.
Forty-five cultivars of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) were field-grown using best management practices at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center (LSU AgCenter) Botanic Gardens in Baton Rouge during the Fall 2011 and Fall 2012 seasons. Recommended cultivars were selected for commercial production in Louisiana based on fresh weight and lettuce size (width and height). Nitrate (NO3 –) concentration was analyzed for each cultivar, as lettuces are known to accumulate and concentrate NO3 –, and were then compared with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) oral reference dose (RfD—the EPA’s maximum acceptable oral dose of a toxic substance) of 1.6 mg NO3-nitrogen (N) per kilogram body weight per day. Recommended butterhead cultivars were Caliente and Harmony (21.6 and 13.9 ppm NO3 – , respectively); recommended green-leaf cultivars were Salad Bowl and Tango (10.6 and 4.6 ppm NO3 –, respectively); recommended red-leaf cultivars were Red Salad Bowl, Red Sails, and New Red Fire (15.2, 15.4, and 24.0 ppm NO3 –, respectively). The only recommended romaine cultivar was Green Towers (11.2 ppm NO3 –), and recommended crisphead cultivars included Raider and Ithaca (17.6 and 14.9 ppm NO3 –, respectively). Of the highest yielding cultivars, New Red Fire accumulated the greatest NO3 – concentration: 24.0 ppm in both years 1 and 2. The NO3 – concentration is less than the levels of concern for both men and women 20 to 74 years old, 3.9% of the RfD for men and 4.59% of the RfD for women.
The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between parental attitudes toward nature and their child's outdoor recreation and how these attitudes related to their reports of their child's health problems. The sample for this study consisted of parents of 6- to 13-year-old children from the United States, who accessed the survey from an informational website for gardeners between Mar. and Aug. 2009. Surveys were collected until 142 completed questionnaires were received. The online survey included questions about parents' attitude toward nature, parents' attitudes toward their child's outdoor recreation, an inventory of potential children's health problems, the time children spent in various indoor and outdoor activities, and demographic questions. Descriptive statistics were used to tabulate mean scores on the parental attitude toward nature (PAN) scale and parental attitude toward their child's outdoor recreation (PACOR) scale, both of which indicated overall positive views. Pearson's product–moment correlations indicated statistically significant relationships between the PAN scale, the PACOR scale, and time children spent outdoors. Relationships between time spent indoors on video games or watching television and health problems in children were identified. Time spent outdoors in free play was inversely related to reports of health problems in children.
declines while they concurrently change their nutrition habits, often culminating in a “western diet” (high intake of fats, added sugars, animal-source foods, and refined carbohydrates). A global trend toward obesity and diabetes is the result ( Popkin
compound tested. The compound treatments were white sugar (C&H Sugar Co., Crockett, CA), brown sugar, Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew (PepsiCo), and a water control. The designated compounds were measured to exact quantities and then mixed thoroughly in 100
Vegetarianism dates back to a time before recorded history and, as many anthropologists believe, most early humans ate primarily plant foods, being more gatherers than hunters. Human diets may be adopted for a variety of reasons, including political, esthetic, moral, environmental and economic concerns, religious beliefs, and a desire to consume a more healthy diet. A major factor influencing the vegetarianism movement in the present time is primarily associated with better health. Epidemiologic data support the association between high intake of vegetables and fruit and low risk of chronic diseases and provide evidence to the profound and long-term health benefits of a primarily vegetarian diet. Vegetables and fruit are rich sources of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber as well as biologically active nonnutrient compounds that have a complementary and often multiple mechanisms of actions, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, hypocholesterolemic, and hypolipidemic properties, and mechanisms that stimulate the human immune system. Because of the critical link established between diet and health, consumers have begun to view food as a means of self-care for health promotion and disease prevention. Functional foods are targeted to address specific health concerns, such as high cholesterol or high blood sugar levels, to obtain a desired health benefit. Functional properties identified in a number of plant species have led to a modern day renaissance for the vegetarian movement.
Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) releases dietary guidelines to help Americans choose nutritious foods to prevent chronic, diet-related diseases and promote better health. Nutrient-rich vegetables are a critical part of this
This article examines the nutritional quality and human health benefits of melons, specifically, muskmelon or cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus Naud.) and honeydew melon (Cucumis melo L. var. inodorus Naud.) types. Melons are naturally low in fat and sodium, have no cholesterol, and provide many essential nutrients such as potassium, in addition to being a rich source of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Although melons are an excellent source of some nutrients, they are low in others, like vitamin E, folic acid, iron, and calcium. Since the U.S. diet is already high in fat and protein content, melons should be included in everyone's diet, along with five to eight servings per day of a variety of other fruit and vegetables, to ensure adequate nutrition, promote individual health, and reduce one's risk of cancer and certain other chronic diseases.
. 41 3 212 217 10.1016/j.jneb.2008.06.002 Perez-Lizaur, A.B. Kaufer-Horwitz, M. Plazas, M. 2008 Environmental and personal correlates of fruit and vegetable consumption in low income, urban Mexican children J. Hum. Nutr. Diet. 21 1 63 71 O’Brien, S