Sources of vegetables, fruits, and vitamins A, C and E among five ethnic groups: Results from the Multiethnic Cohort Study

Sharma, Sangita
Sheehy, Tony
Kolonel, Laurence N.
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Nature Publishing Group
Objectives: Data are limited on how dietary sources of food and nutrients differ among ethnic groups. The objective of this study was to determine the main sources of fruit, vegetables, and vitamins A, C, and E for five ethnic groups. Methods: Dietary data were collected using a validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire from participants in the Multiethnic Cohort in Hawaii and Los Angeles County between 1993 and 1996. Data were analyzed for 186,916 participants representing five ethnic groups; African Americans, Japanese Americans, Native Hawaiians, Latinos, and Caucasians. Results: Lettuce was the most consumed vegetable (6.0%-9.9%) in all ethnic-sex groups, except African American women and Mexican-born Latino men and women. Oranges and bananas contributed more than one quarter to total fruit intake among all groups. Overall, more ethnic variation in food choices was observed for the top ten vegetables than fruit. The top sources for vitamins A, C and E were carrots, orange/grapefruit/pomelo and combined dishes, respectively. Between micronutrients studied, the greatest ethnic variation in foods consumed was observed among the top ten food sources of vitamin A. Conclusions: This is the first study providing data on the main types of fruit and vegetables consumed and the major sources of vitamins A, C, and E among these ethnic groups in the U.S. Such data are valuable for developing and implementing public health strategies to meet the USDA dietary recommendations and guiding ethnic-specific nutrition education and intervention programs.
Dietary sources, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Ethnicity
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