SAINT LOUIS, Mo., Nov 11, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Families who frequently dine out are less likely to eat enough fruits and vegetables, St. Louis University researchers have found.
"The more often parents eat out, the lower their intake of fruits and vegetables," Amanda Harrod, a researcher at Saint Louis University School of Public Health, said at the American Public Health Association conference this week.
Harrod studied young families in southeastern Missouri and found 73 percent of the parents don't consume five or more fruits and vegetables each day, the amount recommended to combat heart disease and cancer.
Parents who frequently eat out are also less likely to have fruits and vegetables available at home because, they say, the foods don't taste good.
The research, funded by the National Cancer Institute for Parents as Teachers National Center Inc., concluded public health officials need to consider what families are eating at restaurants if they're going to find ways to improve families' diets.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.