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A Multi-Year Examination of Gardening Experience and Fruit and Vegetable Intake During College

Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0370, USA
Department of Nutrition, College of Education, Health & Human Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
Human Nutrition and Foods in Animal and Nutritional Sciences Division, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6108, USA
Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
Department of Business Analytics & Statistics, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Knoxville, TN 37996-0532, USA
Department of Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA
Nutrition and Health Sciences Department, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0806, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2088;
Received: 12 July 2019 / Revised: 20 August 2019 / Accepted: 22 August 2019 / Published: 4 September 2019
Gardening has been positively associated with fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption based on short-term studies among children, but long-term data among adolescents and young adults are lacking. This investigation sought to elucidate the association between gardening experience and FV intake among college students over a two-year period. Students (N = 593) from eight universities were assessed at the end of their freshman (Y1) and sophomore (Y2) years during the springs of 2016 and 2017, respectively. At each time point, participants completed the NCI FV Screener and questions related to gardening experience and FV-related attitudes and behaviors. Students were then categorized into four groups based on gardening experience: Gardened only during the first or second year (Y1 only and Y2 only gardeners), gardened both years (Y1+Y2 gardeners), and non-gardeners. While both Y1 only and Y1+Y2 gardeners reported significantly higher FV intake relative to non-gardeners at Y1 (2.3 ± 0.9 and 2.6 ± 0.7 versus 1.9 ± 0.6 cup equivalents (CE)/day, respectively; p < 0.01), only Y1+Y2 gardeners differed from non-gardeners at Y2 (2.4 ± 0.6 versus 1.8 ± 0.5 CE/day; p < 0.001). Additionally, Y1+Y2 gardeners reported more frequent engagement of several FV-related behaviors, including shopping at farmers’ markets, eating locally grown foods, and cooking from basic ingredients; and were five times more likely to have gardened during childhood (OR: 5.2, 95%, CI: 3.5–8.8; p < 0.001). Findings suggest that while isolated gardening experiences during college are associated with FV intake, reoccurring experience may be essential for sustained benefit. View Full-Text
Keywords: gardening; fruit and vegetable intake; college; childhood; long-term gardening; fruit and vegetable intake; college; childhood; long-term
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MDPI and ACS Style

Staub, D.; Colby, S.E.; Olfert, M.D.; Kattelmann, K.; Zhou, W.; Horacek, T.M.; Greene, G.W.; Radosavljevic, I.; Franzen-Castle, L.; Mathews, A.E. A Multi-Year Examination of Gardening Experience and Fruit and Vegetable Intake During College. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2088.

AMA Style

Staub D, Colby SE, Olfert MD, Kattelmann K, Zhou W, Horacek TM, Greene GW, Radosavljevic I, Franzen-Castle L, Mathews AE. A Multi-Year Examination of Gardening Experience and Fruit and Vegetable Intake During College. Nutrients. 2019; 11(9):2088.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Staub, Daniel, Sarah E. Colby, Melissa D. Olfert, Kendra Kattelmann, Wenjun Zhou, Tanya M. Horacek, Geoffrey W. Greene, Ivana Radosavljevic, Lisa Franzen-Castle, and Anne E. Mathews 2019. "A Multi-Year Examination of Gardening Experience and Fruit and Vegetable Intake During College" Nutrients 11, no. 9: 2088.

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