Bradbury, Jane, Thomason, J.M., Jepson, N.J.A., Walls, A.W.G., Mulvaney, C.E., Allen, P.F. and Moynihan, P.J. (2008) Perceived Chewing Ability and Intake of Fruit and Vegetables. Journal of Dental Research, 87 (8). pp. 720-725. ISSN 0022-0345

Edentulous individuals have reduced chewing ability and lower fruit and vegetable consumption compared with dentate individuals. It has been suggested that the two are causally related. However, psychosocial factors such as attitude, self-identity, and knowledge of recommendations are predictive of intake in non-edentulous persons. The aims of this study were to: determine if perceived chewing ability was predictive of fruit and vegetable intake; explore the predictive ability of knowledge, attitude, and self-identity; and compare intake between edentulous and dentate individuals. Full denture-wearing (N = 79) and dentate persons (N = 52) completed a three-day food diary. Perceived chewing ability, sociodemographic, and psychosocial factors were assessed via self-administered questionnaire. The dentate persons consumed significantly more fruit and vegetables, but differences were not significant when juices were excluded. Perceived chewing ability explained ~ 4% variance in intake. Attitude, self-identity, and knowledge explained a further ~ 20%. If the diet of denture-wearers is to be improved, psychosocial factors, as well as perceived chewing ability, must be addressed.

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