Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gardening linked to increased vegetable consumption in older adults

Date:
March 18, 2011
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
A study of older adults has revealed some interesting nutritional benefits to gardening. Researchers compared fruit and vegetable consumption of older gardeners and non-gardeners, and investigated differences in fruit and vegetable consumption of long-term gardeners compared with newer gardeners. The results suggested that offering gardening "intervention" programs for older adults could be an effective way to improve vegetable and fruit consumption in the population.

New research from Texas A&M University and Texas State University found that older adults who participate in gardening may be more likely to eat their veggies. The report, published in HortTechnology, presents the results of an online survey of adults aged 50+ and includes recommendations for promoting gardening "intervention" programs to older adults.

Related Articles


According to researchers Aime Sommerfeld, Amy McFarland, Tina Waliczek, and Jayne Zajicek, studies have shown that poor nutrition is one of several factors responsible for mortality and morbidity in the elderly and is comparable to deaths caused from cigarette smoking. "Although older adults tend to report a higher intake of fruit and vegetables than other age groups, over half of the U.S. older population does not meet the recommendation of five daily servings of fruit and vegetables." They added that several previous research studies confirmed that gardening is one way to increase individuals' fruit and vegetable intake.

The objectives of the study were to examine and compare fruit and vegetable consumption of gardeners and nongardeners, and to investigate differences in fruit and vegetable consumption of long-term gardeners compared with newer gardeners. To collect the information, an online survey was posted on a web site for one month; 261 questionnaires were completed by adults aged 50 years and older.

"Our results support previous studies that indicated gardeners were more likely to consume vegetables when compared with nongardeners. Interestingly, these results were not found with regard to fruit consumption," stated Waliczek, corresponding author of the study. The responses also showed that the length of time an individual reported having participated in gardening activities seemed to have no relationship to the number of vegetables and fruits they reportedly consumed. "This suggests that gardening intervention programs late in life would be an effective method of boosting vegetable and fruit consumption in older adults."

The number of hours per week individuals spent gardening did not appear to be a factor in vegetable and fruit consumption; the researchers observed that this indicates that even older adults with limited time or abilities -- those who spend less time gardening -- may consume greater quantities of vegetables and fruits than their nongardening counterparts.

Finally, the survey results showed that a person's reason for gardening had no relationship with the quantity of vegetables and fruit consumed, implying that programs designed to encourage older adults to participate in gardening need not exclusively promote the health benefits derived from gardening, but may appeal to a range of personal motives.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aime J. Sommerfeld, Amy L. Mcfarland, Tina M. Waliczek, and Jayne M. Zajicek. Growing Minds: Evaluating the Relationship between Gardening and Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Older Adults. HortTechnology, 20: 711-717 (2010) [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Gardening linked to increased vegetable consumption in older adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317141428.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2011, March 18). Gardening linked to increased vegetable consumption in older adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317141428.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Gardening linked to increased vegetable consumption in older adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317141428.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins