A new study tested the psychological benefits of a two-week clinical intervention to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in 171 young adults (aged 18–25).
Participants were randomly assigned into
- a diet-as-usual control condition,
- an ecological momentary intervention (EMI) condition involving text message reminders to increase their consumption plus a voucher to purchase fruits and vegetables,
- or a fruit and vegetable intervention (FVI) condition in which participants were given two additional daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables to consume on top of their normal diet.
Only participants in the last group (FVI) condition showed improvements to their psychological well-being with increases in vitality, flourishing, and motivation relative to the other groups. No changes were found for depressive symptoms, anxiety, or mood.
Giving young adults fresh fruit and vegetables to eat can have psychological benefits even over a brief period of time.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) - the average daily dietary nutrient intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all - ~97% - healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.
The process for setting the RDA depends on being able to set an Estimated Average Requirement (EAR). If an EAR cannot be set, no RDA will be set. The EAR is the daily intake value of a nutrient that is estimated to meet the nutrient requirement of half the healthy individuals in a life stage and gender group.
The RDA is set at the EAR plus twice the standard deviation (SD) if known (RDA = EAR + 2 SD). If data about variability in requirements are insufficient to calculate a standard deviation, a coefficient of variation for the EAR of 10% is ordinarily assumed (RDA = 1.2 x EAR).
The RDA for a nutrient is a value to be used as a goal for dietary intake by healthy individuals. The RDA is not intended to be used to assess the diets of either individuals or groups or to plan diets for groups.