Family influence: Key to fruit and vegetable consumption among fourth- and fifth-grade students

Susan M. Gross, Elizabeth Davenport Pollock, Bonnie Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess social and familial environmental influences on fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption of fourth- and fifth-graders living in a culturally diverse, urban setting. Design: In 2006, students from 9 fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms from a public school in the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Region were recruited as part of the Food Stamp Nutrition Education's initiative to increase FV consumption among school-aged children in low-income schools. This intervention was conducted in partnership with the school. Participants: Ninety-three fourth- and fifth-grade students and their parents. Main Outcome Measure: The average daily FV consumption of elementary school students was the dependent variable. Home engagement (eg, student participation in menu planning and food selection at home), parental modeling, school environment, peer influences, and individual characteristics were the independent variables. Analysis: Multiple regression analysis. Results: Family and home environment factors explained more than 50% of the variance in students' FV consumption. Conclusions and Implications: Interventions designed to influence school-aged children's FV consumption should target family members and consider incorporating strategies to reach families and promote meal planning activities with the children in their homes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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