Study: Vegetable and fruit eaters differ

Nov. 15, 2004 at 2:19 PM
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Illinois researchers want health educators and dietitians to be more precise when promoting vegetables and fruits.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign team, in a study summarized in this month's issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found adults who preferred vegetables to fruits ate more spicy foods, drank wine more frequently with dinner, cooked more elaborate meals and liked to try new recipes.

Fruit lovers, on the other hand, not only had a greater hankering for sweets, but were less adventurous in the kitchen, entertained fewer guests and ate desserts more often after dinner.

That's because a person who likes vegetables tends to have different food tastes and social habits from a person who prefers fruits. Lumping the two groups together may undercut the effectiveness of "better-health" educational campaigns that seek to reduce U.S. residents over-consumption of processed snacks, desserts and fatty foods, said Brian Wansink, a professor of nutritional science and marketing.

For health professionals and educators, the importance of targeting different messages to differently predisposed target markets can mean the difference between a cost-effective program and a wasted effort," Wansink concluded.

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