To what extent do the perceived barriers of availability, affordability and quality of fruit and vegetables explain socioeconomic inequalities in fruit and vegetable consumption among adults in The Netherlands
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Consumption of fruit and vegetables has been shown to be below recommended intake levels among adults in the Netherlands, acting as a risk factor for health. Countries such as the UK and USA show there is an association between Socioeconomic Position (SEP) and fruit and vegetable consumption, whereby lower fruit and vegetable intake is often associated with socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. However, there has been little empirical research to whether there are differential views surrounding affordability, availability, and quality of produce between groups differing in socioeconomic characteristics in The Netherlands. The present study investigates to what extent perceived barriers of availability, affordability, and quality (AAQ) of fruit and vegetables explain socioeconomic inequalities in fruit and vegetable consumption using the 2004 Dutch GLOBE study. Linear regression analysis was carried out to test whether household income was a predictor of fruit and vegetable consumption as suggested by previous research. This was followed by a mediation analysis examining whether the relationship between SEP (household income) and fruit and vegetable consumption were mediated by the perceptions of AAQ of fruit and vegetables. There was no significant relationship between household income in fruit and vegetable consumption. Results indicated that the relationship between household income and perceived barriers of AAQ of vegetables was significant. Fruit and vegetable consumption was not mediated by the perceptions of AAQ of fruit and vegetables. Therefore, it is likely individuals do not differ in their perceived views in relation to affording, accessing and obtaining high quality fruit and vegetables regardless of SEP. This study did not find that individuals with high, middle, or low incomes differed in their fruit and vegetable consumption among adults in The Netherlands.