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Determinants of fruit and vegetable intake in adolescents using quantile regression

OBJECTIVE: To analyze fruit and vegetable intake in adolescents and to identify associated factors. METHODS: A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted with a representative sample of 812 adolescents of both sexes in the city of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil, in 2003. Food consumption was measured with the 24-hour dietary recall. Fruit and vegetable intake was described in percentiles. Quantile regression models were used to investigate the association between this intake and explanatory variables. RESULTS: Of all adolescents interviewed, 6.4% consumed the minimum recommendation of 400 g/day of fruits and vegetables and 22% did not consume any type of fruits and vegetables. According to quantile regression models, adjusted for energy intake, age group and sex, per capita household income and head of household's level of education were positively associated with fruit and vegetable intake, whereas smoking habit showed a negative association. Income was significantly associated with lower intake percentiles (p20 to p55); smoking, with intermediate percentiles (p45 to p75); and head of household's level of education, with higher percentiles (p70 to 95). CONCLUSIONS: Fruit and vegetable intake among adolescents of São Paulo was below the Ministry of Health's recommendations and it is influenced by per capita household income, head of family's level of education and smoking habit.

Adolescent; Food Consumption; Fruit; Vegetables; Socioeconomic Factors

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