How to support fruit and vegetables accessibility for young people
The nutritional messages such as “eat 5 fruit and vegetables per day” are well known, but despite this, the consumption of fruit and vegetables has not increased. In France, younger generations spend four times less in buying fruit than their grand-parents. It is important to have a better understanding of the factors influencing the behaviour of children and teenagers, since this knowledge would suggest new and more effective actions.
To improve the accessibility to fruit and vegetables, it is necessary to emphasize their attractiveness, quality, and the diversity and availability of their sale-points, as well as improving their image and innovation. It is also necessary to show the ease and pleasure of eating fruit and vegetables and to awaken the taste-buds of young people.
This newsletter reports scientific results on the correlation between the fruit and vegetable consumption of children or teenagers and their environment, including availability of the fruit and vegetable at home, distances between the home and food-stores, and the presence of a person cooking at home.
The European Commission would like to launch a programme for distribution of fruit at school, starting in school year 2009. France will support this “school fruit scheme” during its Presidency of the Council of the Union, but will require high quality fruit and a presentation that is fun and interactive for children. Indeed, giving young people a taste and appetite for fruits is very important, but it is also necessary to accompany them in discovering the product they have in their hands and with consideration of their fear and rejection of the unknown.