The influence of individuals' misconceptions in assessing fruit and vegetable consumption on the ability of the theory of planned behaviour to explain variance in the consumption of these foods was studied. Dutch women (mean age 41, n=159) completed a questionnaire assessing the theory's constructs with regard to the daily consumption of at least two pieces of fruit and 200gram of vegetables. Consumption was assessed using a self-rated measure and more objectively with a food-frequency questionnaire. Both measures were combined to classify participants according to the accuracy of their self-assessed intake levels ('realists' vs. 'overestimators'). The model explained variation in objective fruit and vegetable intake much better among realists (R2=45% for fruits and 39% for vegetables) than among overestimators (R2=18 and 5%, respectively). Perceived behavioural control was the strongest predictor of intentions and behaviour. When plasma vitamin C and carotenoid concentrations were used as objective indicators for fruit and vegetable intake, the explanatory value of the model was lower, but again more variance was explained among realists than among overestimators. We conclude that awareness of personal behaviour should be taken into account when applying the theory of planned behaviour to explain dietary behaviours as well as to design health education interventions.,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bogers, R., Brug, H., van Assema, P., & Dagnelie, P. (2004). Explaining fruit and vegetable consumption: The theory of planned behaviour and misconception of personal intake levels. Appetite, 42(2), 157–166. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2003.08.015