Study: College students with gardening history eat more fruits & vegetables

An interesting study from the University of Florida shows that gardening while young can provide health benefits into college … and even longer.
Researchers found that first-year college students with gardening experience ate more fruits and vegetables at college compared to those with little gardening background.
Students who gardened as children and in the 12 months before the study ate around 2.5 cups of fruits and veggies a day compared to 1.9 cups for those students who never gardened, reports Reuters Health.

Researchers found:
• 11 percent of students had gardened only during childhood
• 19 percent had gardened only more recently
• 20 percent gardened both during childhood and recently
• 49 percent had never gardened.

College is a time when a lot of students first experience the freedom to make their own meal choices, so a habit of poor decisions can lead to a lifetime of dietary problems.
“Getting children involved with gardening at an early age is vital to influencing food choices early in life,” Mateja Savoie Roskos, a community nutrition researcher at Utah State University, told Reuters Health. “Children enjoy being part of the process from planting, weeding and watering to harvesting and cooking.”

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