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Effectiveness of Community-Based Interventions to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

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      Abstract

      This systematic review sought to answer the question what is the effectiveness of community-based interventions to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in people 4 years of age and older? A search was conducted through electronic databases, hand-searching, and retrieval from reference lists. Each article retrieved was rated for relevance and validity by two independent readers, and then data abstraction was done by two people for the studies that were rated as strong or moderate. One hundred and eighty-nine articles were retrieved. Sixty were rated as relevant. After validity rating, one was rated “strong,” 17 “moderate,“ and 42 “weak.” Four studies were targeted to parents of young children, six to school-aged children, and five to adults. The most effective interventions gave clear messages about increasing fruit and vegetable consumption; incorporated multiple strategies that reinforced the messages; involved the family; were more intensive; were provided over a longer period of time, rather than one or two contacts; and were based on a theoretical framework. People in public health positions or making decisions about nutrition interventions need to give priority to those interventions that are multipronged, flexible, open to input from target groups, and theoretically based.
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