Socio-economic differences in the consumption of vegetables, fruit and berries in Russian and Finnish Karelia: 1992-2007.
ABSTRACT Food habits and their socio-economic differences in Russia have rarely been compared to those in western countries. Our aim was to determine socio-economic differences and their changes in the consumption of vegetables, fruit and berries in two neighbouring areas: the district of Pitkäranta in the Republic of Karelia, Russia, and North Karelia, Finland.
Cross-sectional risk factor surveys in Pitkäranta, in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007 (1144 men, 1528 women) and in North Karelia, in 1992, 1997 and 2002 (2049 men, 2316 women), were carried out. Data collected with a self-administered questionnaire were analysed with logistic regression.
The consumption of fruit and vegetables was more common in North Karelia than in Pitkäranta, but increased markedly in Pitkäranta from 1992 to 2007. In Pitkäranta, women, and in North Karelia both men and women with higher education ate fresh vegetables more often than those with a lower education. In both areas, daily consumption of fruit tended to be more common among subjects with a higher education. In Pitkäranta, there were virtually no differences by employment status. In North Karelia, vegetable consumption was less common among the unemployed than the employed subjects. Only minor socio-economic differences in berry consumption were observed. The educational differences in vegetable consumption seemed to widen in Pitkäranta and narrow in North Karelia.
A converging trend was observed, with the Russian consumption levels and socio-economic differences starting to approach those observed in Finland. This may be partly explained by the improvements in availability and affordability of fruit and vegetables in Pitkäranta.
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To assess how the frequency of low fruit and vegetable consumption has changed in countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU) between 2001 and 2010 and to identify factors associated with low consumption. DESIGN: Cross-sectional surveys. A standard questionnaire was administered at both time points to examine fruit and vegetable consumption frequency. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between demographic, socio-economic and health behavioural variables and low fruit and vegetable consumption in 2010. SETTING: Nationally representative population samples from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. SUBJECTS: Adults aged 18 years and older. RESULTS: Between 2001 and 2010 notable changes occurred in fruit and vegetable consumption in many countries resulting in a slight overall deterioration in diet. By 2010 in six countries about 40 % of the population was eating fruit once weekly or less often, while for vegetables the corresponding figure was in excess of 20 % in every country except Azerbaijan. A worse socio-economic situation, negative health behaviours (smoking and alcohol consumption) and rural residence were all associated with low levels of fruit and vegetable consumption. CONCLUSIONS: International dietary guidelines emphasise the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption. The scale of inadequate consumption of these food groups among much of the population in many FSU countries and its link to socio-economic disadvantage are deeply worrying. This highlights the urgent need for a greater focus to be placed on population nutrition policies to avoid nutrition-related diseases in the FSU countries.Public Health Nutrition 05/2013; · 2.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background During the post-communist transition period, political, economic, and social changes affected the lifestyles of the Lithuanian population, including their nutritional habits. However, people of lower socio-economic position were more vulnerable to these changes. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the trends in selected food habits of the Lithuanian adult population by their level of education and place of residence from 1994 to 2010. Methods The data were obtained from nine biannual cross-sectional postal surveys of Lithuanian health behaviours, beginning in 1994. Each survey used a randomly selected nationally representative sample of 3000 inhabitants aged 20-64 drawn from the population register. In total, 7358 men and 9796 women participated in these surveys. Questions about food consumption were included within all health behaviour questionnaires. Results During the transition period, use of vegetable oil in cooking and the frequency of consumption of fresh vegetables increased, use of butter on bread decreased, and the proportion of women drinking high-fat milk declined. Lithuanians with higher education reported more frequent use of vegetable oil in cooking as well as daily consumption of fresh vegetables than those with a lower level of education. Consumption of high-fat milk was inversely associated with educational background. In addition, the proportion of persons spreading butter on bread increased with higher education level. The greatest urban-rural difference was observed in high-fat milk consumption. The increase in the use of vegetable oil in cooking, and the reduction of spreading butter on bread was more evident among less educated and rural inhabitants. Meanwhile, a greater proportion of the rural population, compared to urban, reduced their use of butter on bread. Daily consumption of fresh vegetables increased most among highly educated Lithuanians. Conclusions The data from our study indicate beneficial dietary changes among the Lithuanian adult population. In general, those with a higher level of education had healthier food habits than those with low education. The educational gradient in analyzed food habits, except the use of vegetable oil, enlarged. A higher proportion of the rural population, compared to urban, reduced their usage of butter on bread. However, consumption of high-fat milk was greatest in the rural population. Our data highlight the need for future food and nutrition policies, as well as health promotion programmes, targeting the whole population, particularly those with lower education and living in rural areas.· 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The International Network for Food and Obesity/non-communicable diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support (INFORMAS) proposes to collect performance indicators on food policies, actions and environments related to obesity and non-communicable diseases. This paper reviews existing communications strategies used for performance indicators and proposes the approach to be taken for INFORMAS. Twenty-seven scoring and rating tools were identified in various fields of public health including alcohol, tobacco, physical activity, infant feeding and food environments. These were compared based on the types of indicators used and how they were quantified, scoring methods, presentation and the communication and reporting strategies used. There are several implications of these analyses for INFORMAS: the ratings/benchmarking approach is very commonly used, presumably because it is an effective way to communicate progress and stimulate action, although this has not been formally evaluated; the tools used must be trustworthy, pragmatic and policy-relevant; multiple channels of communication will be needed; communications need to be tailored and targeted to decision-makers; data and methods should be freely accessible. The proposed communications strategy for INFORMAS has been built around these lessons to ensure that INFORMAS's outputs have the greatest chance of being used to improve food environments.Obesity Reviews 10/2013; · 6.87 Impact Factor