An investigation of the fruit and vegetable intake of Pacific and NZE women with different body composition profiles : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Background: Obesity is a significant health issue in New Zealand and is closely related with diet. Fruit and vegetables play numerous roles in the aetiology and physiology of obesity. Little is known about current fruit and vegetable consumption in Pacific and NZE women. Aim: To conduct an in-depth investigation of the fruit and vegetable intake (quantity, quality and habits) of NZE and Pacific women participating in the PROMISE study to determine links with body composition outcomes. Methods: Cross-sectional study analysing fruit and vegetable intake and body composition in 161 NZE and 142 Pacific women living in Auckland, New Zealand. Women completed a 5-day food record (5d-FR) and 7-day Dietary Diversity Questionnaire (DDQ) from which fruit and vegetables were isolated. Anthropometrics and Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) were used to assess body composition. Correlations of fruit and vegetable intake and body composition were made using Spearmans rho. Multiple linear regression was used to analyse predictors of body composition. Results: Combined daily servings and vegetable servings were significantly inversely correlated with BMI (-0.15, -0.16) and BF% (-0.21, -0.20); specifically, green (-0.14, -0.18) and yellow Vitamin-A-rich (-0.12, -0.14) and cruciferous (-0.13, -0.18) vegetables when adjusted for age and ethnicity. Every one serve (75g) of vegetables significantly predicted a reduction of 0.65kg/m2 in BMI and 1.16% in BF% for women combined. The majority of women did not meet fruit or vegetable guidelines regardless of ethnicity, BMI or BF%. NZE consumed significantly more yellow vitamin-A-rich and cruciferous vegetables than Pacific, who consumed more starchy vegetables. Pacific women consumed the highest servings later in the day (Lunch, Afternoon tea, Dinner) than NZE (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner). All women consumed the highest servings at dinner. Most commonly consumed vegetables were carrots, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and potato. Pacific women had higher carbohydrate and lower fibre intake from fruit and vegetables than NZE in the obese BMI category. Conclusions: Daily serves of fruit and vegetables were significantly correlated with body composition although overall current intake is low. Pacific and NZE women have significant differences in fruit and vegetable intake and consumption patterns and corresponding nutrient levels.