Adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables is critical for healthy growth and development. Less is known about fruit and vegetable variety, with variation in operationalization of variety. This review aims to identify currently available evidence operationalizing fruit and vegetable (FV) variety through a scoping review to summarize, compare, and critically evaluate the operationalization of variety. A secondary aim is to examine the implications of measuring FV variety and outcomes including dietary quality/nutrient intake. PubMed, Medline, PsycINFO were searched using the following criteria: (1) human study participants ages 2 years and above; (2) assessment of fruit variety consumption, vegetable variety consumption, or combined fruit and vegetable variety consumption; and (3) peer-reviewed publication available in the English language. Etiologic, intervention, and determinant studies were eligible to be included, and 47 studies met inclusion criteria. Differences in operationalization of variety were found. Findings included associations of FV variety with aspects of nutrient intake, dietary behaviors, lifestyle behaviors, and health outcomes. There were no studies that assessed conventionally grown produce vs. organic produce, and none of the included studies assessed cultivar. Nonstandard classification of fruit and vegetables, differences in fruit and vegetables grown in other countries, and the restriction to studies published in the English language may have excluded studies examining variety published in languages other than English. Operationalization of variety should be reported to allow one to explore comparability across studies, use national or international guidelines for greater comparability, associate variety with nutrient intake, and change variety behaviors via intervention.
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