1 YCARE (Youth/Child And Cardiovascular Risk And Environmental) Research Group. School of Preventive Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Background: Low fruits and vegetables (FV) consumption in youth is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Yet, accurate assessment of dietary behavior is limited, especially among adolescents. Objective: Systematically review the literature about methods to measure the consumption of FV, and investigate the most adapted for adolescents. Methods: Research was conducted in four databases (Biomed Central, CINAHL, PubMed, Web of Science), considering March 30th, 2015 as the latest date. The search strategy used descriptors related to: 1) Age group; 2) FV consumption; 3) Dietary assessment methods. Boolean operators were used for the combination of these groups. Inclusion criteria were: 1) Articles in English; 2) Description of methods used to access FV consumption; 3) Sample of healthy adolescents (10-19 year-old). Only originals papers were considered. Results: 348 potentially relevant articles were retrieved from all records. Therefore, 14 articles were selected and read completely. The most common methods used were: 24-hr dietary recalls (5 with a Nutritionist assistance; 5 self-reported), and Food Frequency Questionnaire (1 with a Nutritionist assistance; 4 self-reported). Six main groups of innovative and valid technologies were identified (Digital Image-based Food Record; Smartphone-assisted 24-hour Recall; Interactive Portion Size Assessment System; Photographic Booklet of Foods; Mobile Telephone Food Record; 24-h recall Young Adolescents Nutrition Assessment on Computer). Conclusion: Promising perspective for integrating innovative dietary assessment technologies in pediatric epidemiological researches is offered. Thus, mobile phone applications seem to improve the recording through the possibility of friendly register while eating. Moreover, adolescents readily handle new technologies. However, additional training in using new devices may improve its accuracy. Finally, the study objectives and the financial resources available must be considered, as well as the inherent individual bias related to self-report dietary intake. Consequently, further researches are crucial to design a more functional dietary method to assess FV consumption among adolescents.