Household food security and fruit and vegetable intake among low-income fourth-graders

Stephanie Grutzmacher, Susan Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


To examine the relationship between household food security and children's and parents' fruit, vegetable, and breakfast consumption and fruit and vegetable availability. Design: Cross-sectional study using matched parent-child surveys. Setting: Title I elementary schools in Maryland. Participants: Ninety-two low-income parent-child dyads recruited from fourth-grade nutrition education programs completing a baseline evaluation. Main Outcome Measures: Fruit and vegetable intake, breakfast consumption, and fruit and vegetable availability in home and school. Analysis: Chi-square tests, 1-way ANOVA. Results: Thirty-six percent of parents reported low/very low household food security, and both parents and students reported low fruit and vegetable intake. Students from households with low food security who were not participating in school nutrition programs had the lowest vegetable consumption and the fewest number of days consuming breakfast, indicating a relatively greater need for enrollment than their peers. Conclusions and Implications: Few differences between children in food-secure and food-insecure households were observed, which underscores the need for research on food insecurity and children's eating behaviors. Examination of other factors influencing fruit and vegetable intake and improvements in food environments and programs are needed. Efforts to increase enrollment among eligible students in school nutrition programs may reduce negative consequences of household food insecurity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-463
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Food preferences
  • Fruit
  • Hunger
  • Parents
  • Poverty
  • Vegetable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Household food security and fruit and vegetable intake among low-income fourth-graders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this