Few studies have examined the role adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have on specific diet patterns. This study assessed the association between ACEs and daily fruit and vegetable intake (FVI). Data were derived from the 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) which surveys 50 states and three U.S. territories. Participants who completed the ACEs module were included in the analyses (N = 106,967). Total ACEs included the summed responses from the domains of abuse, household challenges, and neglect. FVI was reported by number of times consumed per day. The two fruit items included fruit (fresh, frozen, and canned) and fruit juice. The four vegetable items included leafy greens, fried potatoes, non-fried potatoes, and other vegetables. All fruit and vegetable items were analyzed separately to see which specific items drove the relationship between total ACEs and total FVI, equaling a total of 8 regression models. Every model controlled for poor mental health days, sex, age, ethnicity, income, body mass index, and physical activity. Total ACEs were positively associated with daily intake of fried potatoes (β = 0.008, p =.025), other potatoes (β = 0.008, p =.049), and other vegetables (β = 0.024, p <.001). Total ACEs were negatively associated with daily intake of fruit (β = -0.016, p <.001). ACEs had non-significant relationships with leafy greens and fruit juice. Findings suggests that those with increased ACEs scores report increased consumption of fried potatoes, non-fried potatoes, and other vegetables, and less of fruit.
- Adverse childhood experiences
- Dietary intake
- Eating behavior
- Life stress
- Public health surveillance