N° 20 | April 2017

Barriers to F&V consumption A worldwide


Average intake of fruit and vegetables is, in Europe and North America, still below
recommended levels. In addition, averages hide the disparities within a country,
particularly with regard to an intake gradient according to socio-economic level.
Knowing this, it is helpful to explain why individuals do not follow recommendations.
The articles presented in this edition of GFVN contain results that reveal how difficult
it is to identify the barriers that are truly associated with fruit and/or vegetable intake.
The three articles show that many of the perceived barriers, including those cited most
often, are not related to fruit and/or vegetable intake. Conversely, some barriers may not
be perceived as such by consumers.
Articles in this GFVN edition also illustrate the complexity of the mechanisms behind
fruit and/or vegetable consumption. It is surprising that the effects of income on fruit
intake are not mediated by the perception of high prices but by a non-appreciation of
fruit (Dijkstra et al.). The high cost of healthy food influences the fruit and vegetable
intake of people who are food secure but not those who are food insecure (Mook et al.).
Despite the different populations studied and the diversity of approaches, the three
articles show that the low hedonic value attributed to healthy food (Mc Morrow et
al.) or to fruit and/or vegetables (Dijkstra et al.; Mook et al) is a perceived barrier
significantly linked to a lower fruit and/or vegetable intake. It is clear, therefore, that
ways and opportunities to more frequently taste and consume a greater variety of fruit
and vegetables should be provided, which will make these foods more attractive. In this
way, the notion that healthy equals less tasty could be dispelled among those with low
intake levels.

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