Sources of vegetables, fruits and vitamins A, C and E among five ethnic groups: Results from a multiethnic cohort study

Sharma, S; Sheehy, T; Kolonel, L
March 2014
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition;Mar2014, Vol. 68 Issue 3, p384
Academic Journal
Objectives:Data are limited on how dietary sources of food and nutrients differ among ethnic groups. The objective of this study was to determine the main sources of fruit, vegetables and vitamins A, C and E for five ethnic groups.Subjects/methods:Dietary data were collected using a validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire from participants in a multiethnic cohort in Hawaii and Los Angeles county between 1993 and 1996. Data were analyzed for 186 916 participants representing five ethnic groups: African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, native Hawaiians, Latinos and Caucasians.Results:Lettuce was the most consumed vegetable (6.0-9.9%) in all ethnic-sex groups, except among African-American women and Mexican-born Latino men and women. Oranges and bananas contributed more than one-quarter to total fruit intake among all groups. Overall, more ethnic variation in food choices was observed for the top 10 vegetables than for fruits. The top sources of vitamins A, C and E were carrots, orange/grapefruit/pomelo and combined dishes, respectively. Among the micronutrients studied, the greatest ethnic variation in foods consumed was observed for the top 10 food sources of vitamin A.Conclusions:This is the first study providing data on the main types of fruit and vegetables consumed and the major sources of vitamins A, C and E among these ethnic groups in the U.S. Such data are valuable for developing and implementing public health strategies to meet the USDA dietary recommendations and for guiding ethnicity-specific nutrition education and intervention programs.


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