Those favoring local food eat healthier

Jan. 28, 2013 at 11:46 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Young people who favor organic, local and sustainable foods are more likely to make healthier food choices, U.S. researchers say.

Jennifer E. Pelletier, Melissa N. Laska, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer and Mary Story of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health Epidemiology and Community Health conducted a cross-sectional study, which examined the characteristics and dietary behaviors of 1,201 students.

The study participants were at a two-year community college and a four-year public university in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. The participants reported low, moderate, or high importance on alternative food production practices.

"Almost half of the young adults placed moderate to high importance on alternative production practices of food," Pelletier said in a statement. "And no differences were found by race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status in this sample."

The study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found women, young people age 25 and older, vegetarians and those living outside their parent/family home reported the highest importance on alternative production practices.

Compared with those who placed low importance on these practices, those who placed high importance on alternative production practices also consumed:

-- 1.3 more servings of fruits and vegetables.

-- More dietary fiber, fewer added sugars and less fat.

-- Breakfast approximately one more day per week.

-- Fast food half as often.

The study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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