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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Evaluation of the fruit and vegetable intake and motivations of low-income community gardeners in the South Bronx

Lisa Kingery, MS, RD, Foodways, 1425 North Cass Street, Suite 203, Milwaukee, WI 53202, 646-824-8200, lkingeryrd@yahoo.com

Research shows that a populationís food environment is the best predictor of intake. Though they have rarely been studied, community gardens provide a cheap and effective means of improving the food environment in low-income neighborhoods, where access to fresh produce is often limited. This study examined the impact that community gardens have on fruit and vegetable consumption. The motivations for gardening were also surveyed. Using the National Cancer Instituteís All Day Quick Food Screener a sample of 29 gardeners from 6 randomly selected gardens in the Crotona neighborhood of New York Cityís South Bronx and 27 comparison subjects living in the vicinity were surveyed on diet. Gardeners were also asked to identify their main reasons for gardening. The gardens were surveyed for yield and function. Seasonal yield averaged at 730 pounds of produce per garden ranging from 250 to 1375 pounds. Combined, the gardeners grew 41 different types of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Overall, gardeners reported eating twice as many servings of fruits and vegetables as non-gardeners(p<0.002); they ate 4 times as many servings of vegetables alone(p<.001). Surprisingly, gardeners cited mental health (41%), meaningful work (28%), recreation (28%), fresh produce (24%), experiencing nature (24%), social reasons (14%), and exercise (7%), rather than healthy diets as the motivations for gardening. The inclusion of community gardening in public health initiatives that are aimed at improving diet and psychosocial wellbeing warrants serious consideration.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: What's New?

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA