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Open AccessArticle

Insufficient Fruit and Vegetable Intake in a Low- and Middle-Income Setting: A Population-Based Survey in Semi-Urban Tanzania

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Ifakara Health Institute Dar es Salaam, Kiko Avenue, P.O. Box 78373, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Socinstrasse 57, 4051 Basel, Switzerland
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University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, 4001 Basel, Switzerland
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Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit/Free University, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Shree Hindu Mandal Hospital, Chusi St, P.O. Box 581, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(2), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10020222
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
A daily intake of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables (FV) is recommended for protection against non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Inadequate FV intake is a global problem but resource-poor countries like Tanzania are most deprived and constitute settings where little is known for informing public health interventions. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of inadequate FV intake, frequency of FV intake, portions of FV intake and their associations with socio-demographic/lifestyle factors in South-Eastern Tanzania. Data on FV dietary indicators, socio-demographic factors, smoking, alcohol and healthcare use were collected from 7953 participants (≥15 years) of the population-based MZIMA open community cohort (2012–2013). Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine associations between FV intake outcomes and their socio-demographic/lifestyle determinants. Most (82%) of the participants did not meet the recommended daily FV intake While only a fraction consumed fruits daily (15.5%), almost half consumed vegetables daily (44.2%). However, the median (IQR) number of vegetable portions consumed was lower (2(1)/person/day) than that for fruits (2(2)/person/day) People with higher education were more likely to consume fruits daily. Independent correlates of inadequate FV intake included young age, being male, low education, low-income occupations, low alcohol, high tobacco and low healthcare use. Public health interventions should target the socio-economically deprived and culturally-rooted preferences while prioritizing promotion of vegetable for most immediate gain in overall FV intake. View Full-Text
Keywords: fruit and vegetables; education; occupation; healthcare use; Ifakara; Tanzania fruit and vegetables; education; occupation; healthcare use; Ifakara; Tanzania
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Msambichaka, B.; Eze, I.C.; Abdul, R.; Abdulla, S.; Klatser, P.; Tanner, M.; Kaushik, R.; Geubbels, E.; Probst-Hensch, N. Insufficient Fruit and Vegetable Intake in a Low- and Middle-Income Setting: A Population-Based Survey in Semi-Urban Tanzania. Nutrients 2018, 10, 222.

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