If you have been following the dialogue about the a national generic promotion board for fruits and vegetables, check out this link (http://www.fvcampaign.org/pdfs/Pollard_2007.pdf) for research looking at the results of a generic program in Western Australia. From the report’s conclusion:
The Go for 2&5_R social marketing campaign was successful in reaching the target audience and achieving thecampaign communication objectives of increasing awareness of the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables, and encouraging increased consumption, particularly of vegetables. Awareness of the recommended intake and self-reported vegetable consumption among Western Australian adults increased significantly and the proportion of adults consuming less than two servings of vegetables declined. The impact of the campaign was greatest amongst male low consumers of fruit and vegetables. The net effect, in terms of population increases in selfreported fruit and vegetable consumption before and after the intervention, was 0.8 servings (0.2 servings of fruit and 0.6 servings of vegetables, or 75 g). The Go for 2&5_R campaign evaluation shows that well-executed social marketing campaigns are an effective method to increase awareness of dietary recommendations and to motivate dietary behavior change. Results demonstrate the importance of implementing social marketing campaigns over an extended period so that incremental growth in knowledge, intentions and behavior can occur and be maintained.
Also check out this link (http://www.fvcampaign.org/pdfs/Gordon_2006.pdf) for a paper titled “The effectiveness of social marketing interventions for health improvement: What’s the evidence?” From that paper:
Of the 18 studies that sought to increase fruit and vegetable intake, 10 had a positive overall effect, six had mixed or moderate effects, one had no effect, and one was counterproductive. Of the effective studies, for example, one used an education-based social marketing intervention to produce a mean increase in daily fruit and vegetable consumption of 0.56 servings among low-income women in Maryland, USA.16 Another study reported significant improvements in the fruit and vegetable consumption of primary school children in England and Wales following the implementation of a rewards-based peer modeling intervention.17 Overall, these results provide strong evidence that social marketing can improve fruit and vegetable consumption.
Just how concerned should we be about the safety of Chinese food imports? Check out this USDA ERS report (http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/EIB52/EIB52.pdf) titled “Imports From China and and Food Safety Issues.”
From the report:
For example, the Ministry of Agriculture’s testing of vegetables, meats, and fish in domestic markets for pesticide and drug residues reported impressive compliance rates ranging from 91 to 100 percent in 2007. However, few details about the testing are made public, so the results are difficult to evaluate. China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducts extensive surveys of diet and nutrition that can trace intakes of toxic substances to types of food and regions, but these results are also not widely publicized (Ellis and Turner; Wu). Liaoning Province has a database of soil, water, and air pollution test results that identifies areas suitable for organic or “green” crops, but the information can be accessed only through government authorities (Gale, Avendaño, and Merel).
Other Web headlines:
Better than meatfree Mondays
From the story:
The McCartney's gentle approach - suggesting less meat instead of pushing no meat - may also have some sustainable agriculture benefits, supported by some scientific research. Cornell researchers looked at land requirements of the diets of New Yorkers and found that low-fat vegetarian diets took up the least amount of land, less than half an acre per person, while high meat and dairy diets required more than 2 acres. Here's the interesting part, however. If a local, sustainable food production system is what we are aiming for, then a mixed diet may be the most efficient use of the land we've got. Fruits and vegetables need lots of high-quality cropland, while pastureland of lesser quality can be used to support grass-based farming.
Fruit And Vegetable Intake Reduces Respiratory Infections In Pregnant Women
From the story:
Scientists have come up with a new reason to eat your fruits and vegetables - in pregnant woman it can significantly reduce the risk of contracting an upper respiratory iinfection. A new study from the Boston University Medical Center suggests that eating at least seven servings of fruit a day and a moderate amount of vegetables can prevent many infections, like the common cold and sinus infections, in pregnant women. This is important, the researchers said, because upper respiratory infections can lead to lower respiratory illnesses like asthma and pneumonia.
Non-profit organizations to buy fruits and vegetables
From the story:
Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today announced $2 million in grants is available for non-profit organizations to purchase excess produce resulting from overproduction. The funds are available through the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Texans Feeding Texans: Surplus Agricultural Products Grant Program , which awards non-profit organizations funds to purchase and donate agricultural products to food banks or any charitable organization that feeds hungry Texans.
“Many Texas families are challenged right now, and they’ve turned to local food banks for support,” Commissioner Staples said. “This grant program will assist our state’s food banks in offering families a helping hand during these tough times.” Organizations interested in the Texans Feeding Texans: Surplus Agricultural Products Grant Program can submit proposals for up to $1 million per year if they have been assisting charitable organizations for at least five years. Last year, the Texas Food Bank Network was able to acquire and distribute 10.2 million pounds of food to Texas families, thanks to this program.
Study: Fruit and vegetable consumption inadequate worldwide
From the story:
A new study that looks at the fruit and vegetable consumption of nearly 200,000 people finds that the prevalence of inadequate diet is “remarkably high” across the globe.
Overall, 77.6 percent of men and 78.4 percent of women consumed less than the suggested five daily servings of produce. “Low fruit and vegetable consumption is a risk factor for overweight and obesity, and adequate consumption decreases risk for developing several chronic diseases,” said lead author Spencer Moore. “The release of the 2002-2003 World Health Survey data provided a unique opportunity to examine global differences in low fruit and vegetable consumption in a way that has until now simply not been possible.” Moore is an assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. He and his colleagues looked at data from 196,373 adults in 52 mainly low- and middle-income countries. The study appears in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.