Presentation Title

Fruit & vegetable Rx program as an effective strategy to increase fruit and vegetable consumption

Time

9:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Health Sciences

Abstract

Background: As of 2017 in Vermont , 33% of adolescents and 40% of adults had fruit two or more times a day while 18% of adolescents and 22% of adults ate three or more vegetables a day. Fruit and vegetable prescription programs may be an effective strategy to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. This pilot study aimed to determine the impact of a fruit and vegetable prescription (Rx) program on consumption of fruits and vegetables among low-income individuals.

Methods: Coupons were provided for fruits and vegetables at participating health clinics to be used at specific grocery stores and farmers markets. Staff at the retail locations and clinics were interviewed to evaluate barriers associated with the program. Participants who received the coupons were surveyed on various aspects of efficacy and acceptance of the coupons and the program. Qualitative data were collected during interviews, in-person or over the phone, with clinicians, front desk staff members who handled the physical coupons being given out, retail managers and participants. The constant comparative method was used to identify themes found throughout the interviews.

Results: There was a statistically significant shift among participants

towards healthy eating habits overall, particularly increased frequency and variety of produce consumed. The self-efficacy related to consuming fruits and vegetables was also positively impacted. Common themes were found from staff of both retail and clinic locations surveyed.

Conclusion: A fruit and vegetable Rx program may help to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among low income people.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Linda Berlin

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Dietetics, Nutrition and Food Sciences

Primary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

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Fruit & vegetable Rx program as an effective strategy to increase fruit and vegetable consumption

Background: As of 2017 in Vermont , 33% of adolescents and 40% of adults had fruit two or more times a day while 18% of adolescents and 22% of adults ate three or more vegetables a day. Fruit and vegetable prescription programs may be an effective strategy to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. This pilot study aimed to determine the impact of a fruit and vegetable prescription (Rx) program on consumption of fruits and vegetables among low-income individuals.

Methods: Coupons were provided for fruits and vegetables at participating health clinics to be used at specific grocery stores and farmers markets. Staff at the retail locations and clinics were interviewed to evaluate barriers associated with the program. Participants who received the coupons were surveyed on various aspects of efficacy and acceptance of the coupons and the program. Qualitative data were collected during interviews, in-person or over the phone, with clinicians, front desk staff members who handled the physical coupons being given out, retail managers and participants. The constant comparative method was used to identify themes found throughout the interviews.

Results: There was a statistically significant shift among participants

towards healthy eating habits overall, particularly increased frequency and variety of produce consumed. The self-efficacy related to consuming fruits and vegetables was also positively impacted. Common themes were found from staff of both retail and clinic locations surveyed.

Conclusion: A fruit and vegetable Rx program may help to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among low income people.