Fruit and Vegetable Dietary Behaviors in Elementary School Students, Surat Thani Province, Thailand*

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Sirisuk Wannasri
Manirat Therawiwat
Nirat Imamee
Rewadee Chongsuwat

Abstract

This survey research aimed to study fruit and vegetable dietary behaviors of 570 elementary
school students in Surat Thani province, Thailand. The PRECEDE Framework was applied to define study
variables. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires and was analyzed by descriptive
statistics and Multiple Classification Analysis.
From Multiple Classification Analysis it was found that about 37.0 percent of the variance of
vegetable dietary behaviors of the students (R2=0.366) could be explained by 10 selected factors, which
were gender, educational level, preferable to eat vegetable, preparing of food with vegetable by family,
having lunch with vegetable, eating vegetable of parents, eating vegetable of siblings, having an
information board about vegetable and fruit in school, support from parents, and support from friends.
Once the effect of all other factors were taken into account, the best three predictors were preferable to
eat vegetable of the students, having the information board, and student’s gender (Beta=0.396, 0.147,
and 0.141, respectively). Regarding fruit dietary behaviors, it was found that about 20 percent of the
behavioral variance (R2=0.195) could be explained by 10 selected factors, which were gender,
educational level, knowledge about fruit, preferable to eat fruit, availability of fruit at home, availability of
fruit in school, participation in activities about fruit and vegetable in school, having an information board
about vegetable and fruit in school, support from parents, and support from friends. The best three
predictors were availability of fruit at home, preferable to eat fruit, and having the information board about
vegetable and fruit (Beta=0.241, 0.182, and 0.167, respectively). Therefore, promoting fruit and vegetable
consumptions among elementary school students should be emphasized on preferable to eat fruit and
vegetable of the student, managing of environment that enable and reinforce student to perform fruit and
vegetable dietary behaviors, and designing of learning experience that suitable to gender of the student.

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