PREVALENCE AND FACTORS INFLUENCING FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION AMONG MALAYSIAN ELDERLY
Background: Fruit and vegetable intake has multiple health benefits in preventing diet-related chronic diseases. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of inadequate daily fruit and vegetable consumption and it’s associated factors among the elderly in Malaysia.
Materials and Methods: Secondary data from the National Health Morbidity Survey 2011 in Malaysia was used for the statistical analysis. The elderly aged 60 years and above who were living in selected households were recruited into this study. Information on socio-demographic characteristics, fruit and vegetable consumption, self-rated health, and history of chronic diseases were obtained by trained research team members by face-to face interview. Descriptive analysis and complex sample logistic regression were used in data analysis.
Result: Respondents comprised of 51.5% females, 61.6% aged between 60 and 69 years old, and 67.9% were married. Half of the respondents (50.0%) ever attended to primary school and more than half of them were living in the urban area (65.0%). This study revealed that 81.9%, 87.6%, and 91.9% of elderly people did not consume adequate fruit, vegetable and combination of fruit and vegetable respectively. Complex sample logistic regression analysis showed that education level, moderate self-rated health status, and being single were significantly associated with inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption.
Conclusion: Majority of the elderly did not consume adequate fruit and vegetable per day. Therefore, a nutrition policy to encourage healthy eating practices among the elderly in the health facilities of the Ministry of Health Malaysia is recommended to promote the health benefits of consuming fruit and vegetable.
Keywords: fruit and vegetable intake, older people, socio-demography, dietary practices, healthy eating