A qualitative exploration of determinants of fruit and vegetable intake among 10- and 11-year-old schoolchildren in the low countries

Ann Nutr Metab. Jul-Aug 2005;49(4):228-35. doi: 10.1159/000087246. Epub 2005 Jul 28.


Background: For the development of fruit and vegetable promotion interventions, insight is needed into determinants of health behaviour. This study presents results of focus group interviews held with 10- to 11-year-old schoolchildren from Ghent (Belgium-Flanders) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands) to explore personal beliefs and motivations and environmental factors related to schoolchildren's fruit and vegetable intake, to inform the Pro Children intervention development.

Methods: Twelve focus groups were held with 92 schoolchildren. The interviews were recorded and transcribed and NVivo was used to analyse the transcripts.

Results: Positive health beliefs, taste preferences, lack of knowledge and practical barriers were identified as personal factors related to fruit and vegetable intake. Home and school availability of fruits and vegetables, as well as parenting practices were identified as important environmental factors.

Conclusion: A fruit and vegetable promotion intervention should aim to increase fruit and vegetable accessibility and should include educational and motivational activities tailored to these personal and environmental factors. These indications should be further evaluated in quantitative research among representative samples.

MeSH terms

  • Belgium
  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Feeding Behavior* / psychology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Food Preferences
  • Food Supply
  • Fruit*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Schools
  • Vegetables*