17 November 2004


A new report from this month's issue of the Journal of the American Dietetics Association reveal that most people (mainly Americans) prefer either fruits or veggies, and not both. This difference in preference, according to its author, "says much about our inner food-loving soul, and how adventurous we are with regard to food."

According to author Dr. Brian Wansink, a professor of nutrition and marketing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

Fruit lovers were following their sweet tooth. "Fruit lovers also tended to be much less adventurous in cooking; they had fewer dinner parties; they tended to stick to old standards if they cook at all. They liked convenience foods, not necessarily fast food, but prepared foods."

"Vegetable lovers are quite the opposite," he says. "They tended to like foods that are more savory, spicier. They claimed to drink wine more frequently at meals, to like the tannic flavors of wine. They also were more adventurous cooks who entertained more with dinner parties, had friends over more often."

Effort (or lack of it) is the driving force when people choose fruits and vegetables, he says.

"With fruit, it's just wash, peel, eat," says Wansink. "If you look at vegetables in general, they require more preparation, more effort to prepare, you have to peel and cook them. There has to be a willingness to put effort into cooking. Those people are more likely to try new recipes, to have people over for dinner."

Adventurous cooks tend to appreciate vegetables, he says. They enjoy their talent for working with vegetables when cooking for others.

[WebMD, Nov 16 2004]

Effort and adventurism, huh? Veggie personalities tend to be more creative, more adventurous, and more industrious than fruit personalities who will just "wash, peel, and eat."

This study, led by Brian Wansink and Kyoungmi Lee, was based on survey results involving 770 adults, all answering questions about their food-related tendencies. It was noted that 508 of them showed definite preferences for fruits and vegetables, and that was enough for the authors to conclude that most people have either a fruit or vegetable preference or personality. Either, ok? Never both.

In my case, it depends on my mood and schedule for the day. There are times I'll grab an apple and munch it and there are times I'd be venturing on doing Toni's Pechay Adventure --- if you can call it that. I don't think I have a fixed vegetable or fruit personality.

Here are additional tips from Dr. Wansink, if you have a fixed fruit or vegetable personality:

Fruit lovers should eat more fruit --- but branch out: "Try eating different types of fruits. Our research suggests people like you are more likely to grow into a better fruit lover, rather than trying to become a vegetable lover. Eat more fruit instead of sugary snacks or desserts. Don't give up the ship just because you don't like asparagus and broccoli. You can eat fruit!"

Vegetable lovers: "Don't try to eat more fruit if you don't feel like it. Focus on eating more vegetables. You're more predisposed to becoming a vegetable lover, even more so than you are now. Lean into your strengths rather than forcing yourself to eat more bananas each month," says Wansink.

[WebMD, Nov 16 2004]

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