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Evaluation of brief dietary questions to estimate vegetable and fruit consumption – using serum carotenoids and red-cell folate

  • Terry Coyne (a1) (a2), Torukiri I Ibiebele (a2), Sarah McNaughton (a1), Ingrid HE Rutishauser (a3), Kerin O'Dea (a4), Allison M Hodge (a5), Christine McClintock (a2), Michael G Findlay (a2) and Amanda Lee (a6)...

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate responses to self-administered brief questions regarding consumption of vegetables and fruit by comparison with blood levels of serum carotenoids and red-cell folate.

Design

A cross-sectional study in which participants reported their usual intake of fruit and vegetables in servings per day, and serum levels of five carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin and lycopene) and red-cell folate were measured. Serum carotenoid levels were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography, and red-cell folate by an automated immunoassay system.

Settings and subjects

Between October and December 2000, a sample of 1598 adults aged 25 years and over, from six randomly selected urban centres in Queensland, Australia, were examined as part of a national study conducted to determine the prevalence of diabetes and associated cardiovascular risk factors.

Results

Statistically significant (P<0.01) associations with vegetable and fruit intake (categorised into groups: ≤1 serving, 2–3 servings and ≥4 servings per day) were observed for α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin and red-cell folate. The mean level of these carotenoids and of red-cell folate increased with increasing frequency of reported servings of vegetables and fruit, both before and after adjusting for potential confounding factors. A significant association with lycopene was observed only for vegetable intake before adjusting for confounders.

Conclusions

These data indicate that brief questions may be a simple and valuable tool for monitoring vegetable and fruit intake in this population.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email t.coyne@sph.uq.edu.au

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Keywords

Evaluation of brief dietary questions to estimate vegetable and fruit consumption – using serum carotenoids and red-cell folate

  • Terry Coyne (a1) (a2), Torukiri I Ibiebele (a2), Sarah McNaughton (a1), Ingrid HE Rutishauser (a3), Kerin O'Dea (a4), Allison M Hodge (a5), Christine McClintock (a2), Michael G Findlay (a2) and Amanda Lee (a6)...

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