Intake of fruit, vegetables and milk products and correlates among school boys in Saudi Arabia.
Sommaire de l'article
Background Healthy dietary behaviors have a significant impact on children's health and development. Diets high in fruit and vegetables demonstrate a strong and consistent pattern for decreasing the risk of and providing benefits against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and many cancers. Yet, little is known about the pattern of fruit, vegetables and dairy products consumption among children in Saudi Arabia. Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate the consumption of fruit, vegetables and milk products and their dietary correlates among school boys in Saudi Arabia. Materials and methods A multistage stratified cluster cross-sectional survey, using a pre-tested questionnaire was conducted among school-children. The study sample comprised of 725 school students from ten randomly selected schools in Saudi Arabia. Results All surveyed schools (100%) neither provide nor sell fruit, fresh juices or vegetables on their premises. During regular weekdays, the majority of the children did not consume fruit (69%) and vegetables (71.4%) on daily basis. More than one third (32.4%) of the children did not consume dairy products daily. The daily consumption of fruit and dairy products were associated with young age [odds ratio (OR) = 1.5, confidence interval (CI): 1.1-2.2, p = 0.040] and (OR = 2.4, CI: 1.6-3.7, p = 0.001), respectively. Daily consumption of fruit was positively associated with daily consumption of vegetables (OR = 6.6, CI: 4.5-9.5, p = 0.001). Also, daily consumption of vegetables was positively associated with daily consumption of dairy products (OR = 1.5, CI: 1.1-2.2, p = 0.040) and inversely correlated with daily consumption of sweets (OR = 0.6, C.I: 0.4-0.9, p = 0.012). Moreover, the daily consumption of dairy products was associated with consuming high fat food daily (OR = 1.7, CI: 1.2-2.4, p = 0.002). Conclusion The findings indicated that a high percentage of children in Saudi Arabia had an unhealthy low consumption of fruit, vegetables and milk products. Thus, an intervention program to promote healthy dietary patterns is highly recommended. Improving school environments and establishing school-based nutrition programs are extremely needed to promote healthy dietary behaviors among this age group.