School of Medical and Health Sciences
Improving the suboptimal vegetable consumption among the majority of Australian children is imperative in reducing chronic disease risk. The objective of this research was to determine whether there was a relationship between food security determinants (FSD) (i.e., food availability, access, and utilisation dimensions) and adequate vegetable consumption among children living in regional and remote Western Australia (WA). Caregiver-child dyads (n = 256) living in non-metropolitan/rural WA completed cross-sectional surveys that included questions on FSD, demographics and usual vegetable intake. A total of 187 dyads were included in analyses, which included descriptive and logistic regression analyses via IBM SPSS (version 23). A total of 13.4% of children in this sample had adequate vegetable intake. FSD that met inclusion criteria (p ≤ 0.20) for multivariable regression analyses included price; promotion; quality; location of food outlets; variety of vegetable types; financial resources; and transport to outlets. After adjustment for potential demographic confounders, the FSD that predicted adequate vegetable consumption were, variety of vegetable types consumed (p = 0.007), promotion (p = 0.017), location of food outlets (p = 0.027), and price (p = 0.043). Food retail outlets should ensure that adequate varieties of vegetable types (i.e., fresh, frozen, tinned) are available, vegetable messages should be promoted through food retail outlets and in community settings, towns should include a range of vegetable purchasing options, increase their reliance on a local food supply and increase transport options to enable affordable vegetable purchasing.
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