Objective: The objective of this study was to develop a computerized measure for assessing fruit, fruit juice and vegetable (FJV) preferences of African-American (AA) and Hispanic (H) preschool children.
Design/setting: Preschool children were selected from Head Start Centers to participate in this study. PARTICIPANTS/MAIN OUTCOME: Descriptive data on FJV preferences were obtained from a sample of 198 preschool children. Test-retest reliability (n = 50) and predicitve validity (n = 47) were assessed in a sample of children.
Analysis: Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to evaluate gender and ethnic differences in FJV preference scores. Mean FJV preference scores were correlated using the Pearson's correlation coefficients and intra-class correlation to assess the reliability of the preference measure. ANOVA was applied to test the mean FV consumption difference between the low and high FV preference groups.
Results: Compared to H, AA had a significantly higher preference for vegetables. Boys had a significantly lower preference for fruit than girls. Data show adequate test-retest reliability (r = .70; p < .01) and internal consistency of FJV items (Cronbach alpha = .87). Mean FV consumption was significantly higher in children who reported higher preferences for FV compared to those who reported lower FV preferences (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Data provide evidence for the reliability and validity of an interactive, computerized measure for assessing FJV preferences of young children.
Implication: Development of a valid and reliable method for assessing FJV preferences of preschool children may be useful in characterizing FJV preferences of young children and in evaluating specific intervention programs.