Factors Influencing Intention To Meet The Recommended Daily Intake Of Fruits And Vegetables In Black Emerging Adult Women

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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black women
emerging adult
fruit and vegetable
health disparities
mixed methods
theory of planned behavior
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Kelly, Terri-Ann
Kelly, Terri-Ann

The current national guidelines recommend that adult women, ages 19-30, consume at least 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables daily (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2015). However, few women who are Black and emerging adults (ages 18-30) meet these recommendations. This sequential exploratory mixed methods study, guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1985), sought to understand the factors influencing Black emerging adult women’s (BEAW’S) intention to consume the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables (FVs). Beliefs about FV consumption were elicited via focus groups from a purposive sample of 27 BEAW (2 groups with 10 women per group, and 1 group with 7 women). Directed content analysis of the qualitative data revealed that key behavioral beliefs associated with meeting the recommended daily intake of FVs were increased perceived energy, weight loss, and nutrient intake. Family (i.e. parents, spouse/significant other, siblings), healthcare providers (i.e. doctor, nutritionist) and friends were associated with normative beliefs. Key control beliefs were time, cost, and access. Intention to meet the recommended daily intake of FVs was assessed through a cross-sectional researcher-developed survey administered to 100 BEAW. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that attitudes and self-efficacy were the strongest predictors of intention to meet the recommended daily intake of FVs. Furthermore, the availability of a supermarket in walking distance was the control belief driving self-efficacy. These findings suggest that interventions aimed at increasing FV consumption in BEAW should prioritize modifying attitudes, self-efficacy, and the food environment. The outcomes of this study provide preliminary evidence of factors important for developing interventions to increase FV consumption among BEAW.

Lisa M. Lewis
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