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Global assessment of select phytonutrient intakes by level of fruit and vegetable consumption

  • Mary M. Murphy (a1), Leila M. Barraj (a1), Judith H. Spungen (a1), Dena R. Herman (a2) and R. Keith Randolph (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 11 August 2014

Despite dietary recommendations that have repeatedly underscored the importance of increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, intakes worldwide are lower than recommended levels. Consequently, the diets of many individuals may be lacking in nutrients and phytonutrients typical of a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables. In the present study, we estimated phytonutrient intakes by adults categorised by sex, level of fruit and vegetable consumption ( < 5 v. ≥ 5 servings/d), and geographic diet cluster. Intakes of nine select phytonutrients were estimated from the 2002–4 World Health Survey fruit and vegetable servings intake data (n 198 637), the FAO supply utilisation accounts data, and phytonutrient concentration data obtained from the US Department of Agriculture databases and the published literature. Percentage contributions to each phytonutrient intake from fruit and vegetable sources were also estimated. Estimated intakes of phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables varied across the thirteen geographic diet clusters, reflecting regional differences in both numbers and proportions of fruit and vegetable servings consumed, and the specific types of fruits and vegetables available in the diet. The mean phytonutrient intakes by adults consuming ≥ 5 servings/d of fruits and vegetables were approximately 2- to 6-fold the mean phytonutrient intakes by adults with low fruit and vegetable consumption ( < 5 servings/d). In some cases, phytonutrient intakes by adults consuming ≥ 5 servings/d of fruits and vegetables in one geographic diet cluster were lower than the intakes by adults reporting < 5 servings/d in another cluster. The findings from this assessment provide important information regarding the major dietary patterns of phytonutrient intakes across geographic diet clusters.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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*Corresponding author: M. M. Murphy, fax +1 202 772 4979, email
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