Fruit and vegetable consumption by ecological zone and socioeconomic status in Ghana.
Sommaire de l'article
The disease burden in both developed and developing countries is moving towards higher proportions of chronic diseases, and diseases such as cancers are now considered to be of public health concern. In sub-Saharan Africa, healthy behaviours such as fruit and vegetable consumption are recommended to reduce the chances of onset of chronic diseases. This paper examines the determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption in Ghana with particular emphasis on consumption by ecological zone. Data were from the 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (n=4916 females; n=4568 males). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using basic descriptive and Poisson regression. The main independent variable was ecological zone and the dependent variables were levels of fruit and vegetable consumption. The mean number of fruits and vegetables consumed in a week was higher among females (fruits: 7.5, 95% CI=7.3-7.7; vegetables: 8.1, 95% CI=7.8-8.3) than males (fruits: 6.2, 95% CI=6.0-6.4; vegetables: 7.9, 95% CI=7.7-8.2). There were significant differences in consumption by ecological zone. Respondents in the Savannah zone consumed less fruit than those in the Coastal and Forest zones, but the differences in fruit and vegetable consumption between the Coastal and Savannah zones were not consistent, especially for vegetable consumption. The findings suggest that one of the key interventions to improve fruit and vegetable consumption could lie in improving distribution systems since their consumption is significantly higher in the Forest zone, where the production of fruit and vegetables is more developed than in the Savannah and Coastal zones. The findings relating to household wealth challenge conventional knowledge on fruit and vegetable consumption, and rather argue for equal consideration of spatial differences in critical health outcomes.