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December 12, 2017
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community living

Dietary behaviors and weight management


An excerpt from the Sullivan County Public Health Department’s 2013-2017 Community Health Assessment by Holloran Consulting, Inc.

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Among survey respondents, 46.4% ate fruits and/or vegetables daily. Only 26 respondents, or 3.5% of the total sample, never ate fruits and/or vegetables. The most cited reason for not eating fruits and/or vegetables was that respondents do not like them. Other reasons included the expense of fresh fruits and vegetables, their availability, their quality, and the time it takes to prepare them.

Females were significantly more likely than males to eat fruits and/or vegetables daily. Conversely, males were significantly more likely than females to never eat them. Caucasian respondents were also more likely to eat fruits and/or vegetables daily when compared to African American and other race respondents. Only 17.8% of Hispanic respondents eat fruits and/or vegetables daily, which is significantly different than the percentage of Non-Hispanic respondents (53.6%).

Farmers’ Markets

The availability of farmers’ markets can impact fruit and vegetable consumption. Among survey respondents, a majority (61.7%) reported that they visited a local farmers’ market in the past year. The towns that respondents visited the most for farmer’s markets were Monticello, Liberty and Callicoon.
Among the 38.3% respondents who did not visit a farmers’ market, the most cited reason was that they are too expensive. The second most cited reason was that respondents did not have transportation. The third most cited reason was that the hours or days that the markets are held are not convenient. In addition, many respondents stated that it is more convenient to buy fruits and vegetables at the supermarket or that they grow their own.

Females were almost twice as likely as males to visit a farmers’ market. Of the females who did not visit a farmers’ market, a significantly higher proportion said it was because they are too expensive. In contrast, males were significantly more likely to state that the reason they did not visit a farmers’ market was that they did not know where to find them. Among the defined age groups, respondents ages 45 and up were more likely to visit farmers’ markets when compared to younger groups. Among racial groups, 73% of Caucasian respondents visited a farmers’ market in the past year compared to 51.2% of African American respondents and 42.9% of other race respondents. Hispanic respondents were more than two and a half times less likely to visit a farmers’ market; only 28.6% visited one in the past year. A significantly higher proportion of Hispanic respondents said that the reasons they do not visit farmers’ markets are because they are too expense, they do not have transportation, or they do not know where to find them.