Improvement in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Associated with More Favorable Energy Density and Nutrient and Food Group Intake, But Not Kilocalories


Children generally do not consume adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables (F/V). Eating more F/V can improve energy density and overall diet quality.


Our aim was to investigate whether improvements in F/V consumption were associated with improvements in energy density, total calories, and dietary components related to F/V.


We performed secondary analyses of dietary data from a successful four-group randomized controlled trial promoting F/V. Data were collected at baseline, immediately after gameplay, and 3 months post intervention.


Preadolescent child−parent dyads (n=400) were recruited. Eligibility criteria were 4th- or 5th-grade child (approximately 9 to 11 years old) with Internet access and a parent willing to participate in the intervention. Complete dietary data were collected on 387 of the 400 child participants. The videogame was available online on a secure, password-protected website.

Main outcome measures

Dietary intake was assessed with three unannounced dietary recalls collected at each data-collection period via telephone by trained staff using Nutrition Data System for Research software. Energy density and F/V, nutrient, and food consumption were calculated.

Statistical analysis performed

A 4×3 (group by time) repeated measures analysis of covariance with mixed-effect linear models was used. Covariates included child’s sex, race/ethnicity, and total energy intake as well as parent’s age and household education. Energy was excluded as a covariate in the energy density and energy models.


Significant changes occurred in energy density. A significant interaction (group by time) was observed (F6, 515=2.40; P<0.05) in energy density from food only, while a significant time effect was observed for energy density from all foods and beverages (F2, 388=13.75; P<0.0001). Desirable changes were also observed in F/V-related dietary components.


Increasing F/V consumption improved energy density and diet quality considerably in preadolescent children.

Published by: davidgerting

I'm 32, I live in Westminster Md. For the longest time I struggle to figure out what I want to do for a living. Until I realize for the last 4 or so years, everything I love doing was about health and fitness so about 2 years ago. I decided to go to school for exercise science I got my A.A degree then I processed to study for the National Academy sports medicine (NASM) exam after I pass I started my journey to try different workouts and different meal plans I even start my education trying to became a dietitian hopefully I'll be a RD in the next 2 years through out the day I strive to learn as much as I can. Now I can honestly say, I can help anyone the wants to lose weight gain muscle or just over all want to be more healthier.

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