Introduction: The objective of this exploratory study was to determine whether fruit and vegetable consumption differed by race/ethnicity, by origin and nativity among Hispanics, and by language preference (as an indicator of acculturation) among foreign-born Hispanics.
Methods: We recruited 723 women enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and orally administered a questionnaire containing demographic items, validated measures of food security status and social desirability trait, and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System fruit and vegetable module. Differences in intakes of 100% fruit juice, fruit, cooked or canned beans, and dark green, orange-colored, and other vegetables were assessed by using analysis of covariance with Bonferroni post hoc tests. Analyses were controlled for age, pregnancy status, breastfeeding status, food security status, educational attainment, and social desirability trait.
Results: The frequency of vegetable intake differed by race/ethnicity (cooked or canned beans were consumed more often among Hispanic than non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white or other participants, orange-colored vegetables were consumed more often among Hispanics than non-Hispanic black participants, and other vegetables were consumed more often among non-Hispanic white or other than among non-Hispanic black and Hispanic participants), origin (other vegetables were consumed more often among Columbian and other Hispanics than Dominican participants) and nativity (orange-colored vegetables were consumed more often among foreign-born than US-born Hispanics). Fruit and vegetable intake did not differ by language preference among foreign-born Hispanics.
Conclusion: Differences in fruit and vegetable consumption among WIC participants by race/ethnicity and by Hispanic origin and nativity may have implications for WIC nutrition policies and nutrition education efforts.