Does the consumption of fruits and vegetables differ between Eastern and Western European populations? Systematic review of cross-national studies.
Sommaire de l'article
Difference in fruit and vegetable consumption has been suggested as a possible reason for the large gap in cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality rates between Eastern and Western European populations. However, individual-level dietary data which allow direct comparison across the two regions are rare. In this systematic review we aimed to answer the question whether cross-national studies with comparable individual-level dietary data reveal any systematic differences in fruit and vegetable consumption between populations in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Former Soviet Union (FSU) compared to Western Europe (WE).
Studies were identified by electronic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science databases from inception to September 2014, and hand search. Studies which reported data on fruit, vegetable consumption or carotene and vitamin C intake or tissue concentrations of adult participants from both CEE/FSU and WE countries were considered for inclusion. Quality of the included studies was assessed by a modified STROBE statement. Power calculation was performed to determine the statistical significance of the comparison results.
Twenty-two studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Fruit consumption was found to be consistently lower in CEE/FSU participants compared to Western Europeans. Results on vegetable intake were less unambiguous. Antioxidant studies indicated lower concentration of beta-carotene in CEE/FSU subjects, but the results for vitamin C were not consistent.
This systematic review suggests that populations in CEE and FSU consume less fruit than Western Europeans. The difference in the consumption of fruit may contribute to the CVD gap between the two regions.