Are ‘fruits and vegetables’ intake really what they seem in India?
Sommaire de l'article
Fruits and vegetables are integral parts of a healthy diet. This study evaluated the quantity and diversity of the fruit and vegetable intake in India, with a focus on its distribution across sectors and wealth quintiles.
A secondary data analysis on the nation-wide NSSO Household Consumer Expenditure Survey 2011-2012 was performed to estimate the amount (g/capita/day) and diversity of household intake of fruits and vegetables in the rural and the urban sectors of India. Using the expenditure data, households in both the sectors were further divided into wealth quintiles and differences in the diversity of intake was evaluated across these quintiles separately for each sector.
The per capita household vegetable and fruit intake was found to be 145 and 15 g, respectively, for rural India, and 155 and 29 g for urban India. A significant portion of this intake came from energy-dense food items; potatoes and bananas for vegetable and fruit intake respectively. Further, while wealth marginally improved the diversity in vegetable intake, no such trend was observed in fruit intake.
Given the high proportion of energy-dense fruits and vegetables in the Indian total intake, the focus should be on improving the diversity of vegetables, as well as on increasing the intake and diversity of fruits.