Objective: To investigate fruit consumption in a high deprivation population in New Zealand.
Method: In 2007, 99 door-to-door interviews were conducted in a high deprivation neighbourhood in Auckland with a focus on measuring self-reported fruit consumption.
Results: On average, participants reported eating a serving of fresh fruit five to six times per week. At the time of the interview, more than a third of participants (38%) did not have any fresh fruit in the house and 60% of respondents reported that in the past month they had thrown out fruit between one to four times per week because it was considered to be past its best in terms of eating quality. Fruit juice was consumed on average one to two times per week. Self-efficacy for fruit consumption was positively associated with consumption. Relative to participants with lower levels of self-efficacy for fruit consumption, those with higher levels of self-efficacy were more likely to achieve the target of consuming two or more servings of fruit daily.
Conclusion: Strategies that aim to increase self-efficacy beliefs for fruit consumption may contribute to improving compliance with the recommended two or more servings daily. Together with strategies that give consideration to the social and cultural context and community level interventions (involving schools, churches and local community groups) they represent a holistic approach that is likely to be necessary for improving fruit consumption in high deprivation populations.