Fruit and vegetable intake and associated factors in older adults in South Africa

SOURCE: Global Health Action
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer, N.Phaswana-Mafuya
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7469
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/3213

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Numerous studies support the protective effect of high fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption on chronic disease risk, mainly against cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Compared with younger adults, older people experience additional health, social, and environmental conditions that affect dietary intake. To identify those additional dimensions and examine them in association with FV intake, data on 3,840 participants in the Study of Global Ageing and Adults Health (SAGE) in South Africa were analyzed. We conducted a national population-based cross-sectional study in 2008 with a sample of 3,840 participants, aged 50 years or older, in South Africa. The questionnaire included questions on sociodemographic characteristics, health variables, anthropometry, and blood pressure measurements. Multivariable regression analysis was performed to assess the associations between socio-demographic factors, health variables, and inadequate FV consumption. Overall prevalence rates of insufficient FV intake were 68.5%, 64.8% among men and 71.4% among women, with a mean intake of 4.0 servings of FV among older adults (50 years and older). In multivariable analysis, coming from the Black African or Colored population group, lower educational level and daily tobacco use were associated with inadequate FV intake. The amount of fruit and vegetables (FVs) consumed by older South African participants was considerably lower than current recommendations (daily intake of at least five servings; 400 g). Public education and campaigns on adequate consumption of FVs should be promoted targeting lower educated and Black African and Coloured population groups.