Indexed on: 20 Jun '20Published on: 20 Jul '19Published in: Nutrients
Vegetable consumption is a predictor for improved health outcomes, such as reduced obesity and likelihood of food-related noncommunicable diseases. Young adults are a key population, being in a transitional stage-of-life: Habits gained here are taken through the lifespan. This review establishes insight into the consumption of vegetables among young adults during their college/university years, and factors associated with increased consumption. Seventy-one papers were extracted, published between January 2009 and October 2018. Search terms related to consumption; vegetables; and college/university setting and sample. A diverse range of definitions, guidelines, and study approaches were observed. Findings identify that the majority of students do not consume World Health Organization recommendations. Being female was the most frequent predictor of higher intake of vegetables, and no consumption patterns were identified by countries. Living at family home; body mass index; happiness and stress level; perceived importance of healthy eating; socioeconomic level; breakfast consumption; stage of study; openness to new experiences; sleep pattern; nutrition knowledge; activity level; alcohol usage; and energy intake were identified as influential factors. Public policies and new strategies to encourage vegetable consumption among college students are indispensable, especially targeting subgroups with even lower intakes, such as males and those living outside family home.