Knowledge, Barriers, and Stage of Change as Correlates of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption among Urban and Mostly Immigrant Black Men

Randi L. Wolf, Stephen J. Lepore, Jonathan L. Vandergrift, Lindsay Wetmore-Arkader, Elizabeth McGinty, Gabriel Pietrzak, Amy L. Yaroch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Background: Daily fruit and vegetable consumption in black men is low and has remained relatively unchanged during the past 20 years. Objective: To examine awareness of fruit and vegetable recommendations promoted by federal agencies and correlates of fruit and vegetable consumption among an urban and mostly immigrant population of adult black men. Design: A cross-sectional study analyzing baseline data (n=490) from a randomized controlled trial. Setting: A large health care worker's union. Main outcome measures: Knowledge, perceived benefits, stage of readiness, perceived barriers, and daily servings of fruit and vegetable intake. Statistical analyses performed: One-way analysis of variance and t tests were used to compare fruit and vegetable intake across main study variables. Regression analysis was used to identify independent predictors of fruit and vegetable intake. Results: Fruit and vegetable intake was low (mean was three servings/day). Ninety-four percent were not aware that men should consume at least nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily and 59.8% were not aware that eating a colorful variety is important. In contrast, over half (54.7%) were aware that a single serving is equal to about a handful; 94.1% correctly reported fruit and vegetables as an important source of fiber; 79.6% correctly reported vitamin pills were not a substitute for eating fruits and vegetables; and 94.5% recognized that there are health benefits to eating fruits and vegetables, although identification of specific benefits was minimal. In regression analysis, a greater level of fruit and vegetable consumption was significantly associated with greater knowledge of fruit and vegetable recommendations, lower perceived barriers, and a more advanced stage of change (action vs contemplation/preparation). Perceived health benefits were not associated with fruit and vegetable consumption. Conclusions: There is a lack of awareness of the current fruit and vegetable recommendations. In addition, men reported fruit and vegetable intakes that were far below national recommendations. Greater efforts are needed to help urban and primarily immigrant black men realize the importance of and recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1315-1322
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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