Demographic and Socioeconomic Differences in Fruit and Vegetables Consumption, 2007-2009: A Province-Level Study in Iran

Aliasghar Ahmad Kiadaliri


Background: High daily intake of fruit and vegetables promotes population health and is inversely associated with morbidity and mortality. Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics are among main predictors of fruit and vegetables consumption. The current study aimed to evaluate these associations using province-level data in Iran during the years 2007-2009.

Methods: Data on the mean number of fruit and vegetables consumption per day in age and sex stratum at the province level from three consecutive stepwise non-communicable diseases risk factors surveys were obtained. Data about provinces’ socioeconomic status (SES) were obtained from the Statistical Centre of Iran and published reports. One-way repeated measures ANOVA and random effect linear regression models were applied for non-stratified and stratified analyses, respectively.

Results: There were substantial variations in the fruit and vegetables consumption across the country. Consumption of vegetables was higher than fruit over the study period. There were no statistically significant differences in fruit (P = 0.52) and vegetables (P = 0.14) intake among men and women. Older age was associated with lower consumption of fruit. People in the provinces with better SES consumed higher amounts of combined fruit and vegetables and this association was more profound among females.

Conclusions: The results suggest that policies and interventions to improve the intake of fruit and vegetables in the country may be significantly beneficial, especially for older people and women in low socioeconomic groups.

Keywords: Fruit, human development index, Iran, socioeconomic, vegetables

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