Relationship between home fruit and vegetable availability and infant and maternal dietary intake in African-American families: evidence from the exhaustive home food inventory

Maria Bryant, June Stevens, Lily Wang, Rachel Tabak, Judith Borja, Margaret E Bentley
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2011, 111 (10): 1491-7

BACKGROUND: The availability of foods in the home is likely to be related to consumption. We know of no studies that have reported this association in African-American participants, and few studies have examined home food availability using objective methods.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the association between objective measures of fruits and vegetables in the home with reported infant and maternal diet in low-income African Americans.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional study design was used to compare food availability and dietary intake. The Exhaustive Home Food Availability Inventory used barcode scanning to measure food availability in the home. Maternal and infant diet was assessed by 24-hour recall.

SUBJECTS/SETTING: Eighty African-American first-time mother/infant dyads were recruited from Wake and Durham counties in North Carolina.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Adjusted mean dietary intake of infants and mothers was calculated within tertiles of food and nutrient availability using analysis of variance. The bootstrap method was used to estimate P values and 95% confidence intervals. Models were adjusted for mother's age, household size, shopping and eating-out behavior.

RESULTS: Infants and mothers living in homes in the highest tertile of availability of energy, nutrients, and fruits and vegetables tended to have the highest consumption, respectively; however, statistically significant associations were more likely to occur with infant diet than maternal diet. The relationship was strongest for infant consumption of fruit, with an average of 103.3 g consumed by infants who lived in homes in the highest tertile of availability, compared to 42.5 g in those living in homes in the lowest tertile (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Availability of fruits and vegetables in the home was associated with intake of those foods in a sample of African-American mothers and infants. Results support making changes in the home environment as a method of promoting changes in fruit and vegetable intake.

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