Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Glob Health Action. 2012 Nov 29;5:1-8. doi: 10.3402/gha.v5i0.18668.

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

Author information

HIV/AIDS/SIT/and TB (HAST), Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa.



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 socio-demographic 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 Colored population groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center