Fruit, veggie advertising may increase consumption

September 18, 2012

A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows that advertising fruits and vegetables may increase their consumption.

The researchers wondered if there was any difference in fruit and vegetable consumption between states with agricultural marketing programs and those without. Currently, dozens of states support advertising, packaging, and in-store displays that promote fresh produce to consumers, many promoting locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

The study examined the results of surveys held in 2000 and 2005 of 237,320 people in the United States, asking participants about their eating habits. In states that adopted marketing campaigns during this time-frame, the percentage of those who reported they ate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day—the recommended amount—grew from 24% to 26.5%.

The most notable difference was in women: In states without marketing campaigns, the percentage who met the five-a-day guideline fell from 27% to 26.1% over the five years, but grew from 27.6% to 30.1% among those with the programs. “During a period of time when fresh produce consumption was decreasing nationally, the states that had these programs did not follow the national trend,” said study co-author Michel Faupel, of the University of Arkansas. “Instead their produce consumption stayed level or it increased slightly.”