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Highlights from the August 2008 Journal of the American Dietetic Association

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Is Low among Black Men

Despite efforts to stress the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, daily consumption of these foods among men remains low, particularly among black men, according to researchers at Columbia and Temple universities, the University of Pennsylvania and the National Cancer Institute.

In a study of 490 American and foreign-born black men between ages 45 and 70, the researchers found the men ate an average of three servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend men eat nine servings per day. The researchers also found 94 percent of the participants in the study were not aware of the recommendations.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been shown to lower risk for chronic illness. Compared with other racial groups, black men have higher incidence and mortality rates for many diet-related diseases, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers.

According to the researchers, the study suggests significant efforts will be needed to help black men, particularly immigrant black men, to realize the importance of increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption. "The lack of awareness of the current dietary recommendations related to fruits and vegetables is alarming and implores health experts to rethink how messages about diet and nutrition can reach this population," the researchers write.

Reasons Why Restaurant Employees May Not Follow Food Safety Procedures

Inadequate training and resources, time constraints and the inconvenience of following procedures all stand in the way of restaurant employees' applying food safety practices in their workplace, according to researchers at Kansas State University.

In focus groups totaling 125 restaurant employees, those barriers were most often identified as reasons why three important food safety practices may not take place: hand washing, using thermometers and cleaning work surfaces. The responses were similar for workers with no formal food safety training as well as those who had participated in a formal ServSafe training program.

In the group that had received formal training, additional barriers included no incentive to implement the practices; managers not monitoring if employees cleaned work surfaces; inconvenient location of sinks; dry skin from hand washing; lack of working thermometers; and managers not monitoring the use of thermometers. Between the two groups of employees, 90 different barriers to implementing food safety practices were identified.

The researchers conclude: "Knowledge of perceived barriers among employees can assist food and nutrition professionals in facilitating employees in overcoming these barriers and ultimately improve compliance with food safety practices.

Additional research articles in the August Journal of the American Dietetic Association include:

  • Data from a Validation Study of Reporting Accuracy over Multiple Recalls, and School Foodservice Production Records Provide Insight into the Origins of Intrusions (Reports of Uneaten Items) in Children's Dietary Recalls
  • Comparison of Baseline Dietary Intake of Hispanic and Matched Non-Hispanic White Breast Cancer Survivors Enrolled in the Women's Healthy Eating And Living (WHEL) Study


Contact: Phil Allen
American Dietetic Association

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