Religiosity and Spirituality and the Intake of Fruit, Vegetable, and Fat: A Systematic Review Academic Article uri icon


  • Objectives. To systematically review articles investigating the relationship between religion and spirituality (R/S) and fruit, vegetable, and fat intake.Methods. PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycInfo were searched for studies published in English prior to March 2013. The studies were divided into two categories: denominational studies and degree of R/S studies. The degree of R/S studies was further analyzed to (1) determine the categories of R/S measures and their relationship with fruit, vegetable, and fat intake, (2) evaluate the quality of the R/S measures and the research design, and (3) determine the categories of reported relationship.Results. Thirty-nine studies were identified. There were 14 denominational studies and 21 degree of R/S studies, and 4 studies were a combination of both. Only 20% of the studies reported validity and 52% reported reliability of the R/S measures used. All studies were cross-sectional, and only one attempted mediation analysis. Most studies showed a positive association with fruit and vegetable intake and a mixed association with fat intake.Conclusion. The positive association between R/S and fruit and vegetable intake may be one possible link between R/S and positive health outcome. However, the association with fat intake was mixed, and recommendations for future research are made.

publication date

  • 2013