Acta Scientific Nutritional Health (ASNH)(ISSN: 2582-1423)

Research Article Volume 7 Issue 5

Associations of Vegetable and Fruit Consumption and Self-Rated Health Status among Brazilian Adults

Pedro Olivares-Tirado* and Rosendo Zanga

Department of Public Health Program, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

*Corresponding Author: Pedro Olivares-Tirado, Department of Public Health Program, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Received: April 03, 2023; Published: April 26, 2023


Introduction: Although Brazil is an important producer of fruits and vegetables worldwide, the consumption of vegetables in the country is insufficient, with a scarce variety of products, and it is worse among individuals with higher consumption of ultra-processed foods. Consuming fruits and vegetables is a critical factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, decreasing the risk of developing diet-related chronic diseases, and positively affecting psychological well-being, mental health and overall health. The self-rated health (SRH) is a reliable indicator of overall health status. It is a useful independent predictor of healthy lifestyle behaviours, such as physical activity or healthy eating. This study analyses the association between fruit and vegetable consumption behaviours and self-rated health status in Brazilian adult populations.

Methods: Data came from the 2019 Brazilian National Health Survey data. SRH status was evaluated with the classical question: “In general, how would you rate your health status”? and responses were categorized into three ordinal categories from the worst to the best level. Vegetable and fruit consumption, were measured by the question: “How many days a week do you usually eat fruits and at least one type of vegetable. Then, three ordinal categories were built for each variable, from an optimal to a short consumption. The association between SRH status and fruit and vegetables consumption was examined using ordinal regression analysis, adjusted by relevant confounders and stratified by sex.

Results: A total of 63,444 adult participants were analysed. The mean age was 48.5 years (SD: 16.67), and 58% were women. Forty-four per cent and 37% say to have an optimal consumption (6-7 days/week) of vegetables and fruits, respectively. Conversely, 26% and 32% of the surveyed mentioned poor consumption (0-2 days/week) of vegetables and fruits, respectively. Additionally, 61%, 32% and 7% of the respondents reported a “good/very good”, “fair”, and “bad/very bad” SRH status, respectively. According to the model, men with optimal vegetable intake have a 64% probability of belonging to the SRH “good/very good” status, compared to 61% of women. Conversely, men with short vegetable intake have a 39% probability of belonging to “fair” or “bad/very bad” SRH status, compared to 43% of women. Differences were statistically significant. Similar to vegetable consumption, increased fruit consumption is associated with higher probabilities of a better SRH status in both sexes.

Conclusions: The study indicates that optimal and moderate fruit and vegetable consumption are significantly and positive associated with SRH status. This relationship is complex because both are directly affected by some relevant socio-demographic factors, and discriminating against this effect is difficult, becoming a methodological challenge. Furthermore, the SRH status differences associated to fruit and vegetable consumption across main socio-demographic factors represent well socioeconomic inequalities in health in Brazilian population.

Recommendations: These findings reinforce the importance of promoting healthy eating through public policies based on strategies and programmes focused on socially and economically vulnerable groups. Future research is needed to initiate longitudinal studies to address causality in the relationships among fruit and vegetable consumption and SRH status and monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of public policies oriented to improve healthy eating behaviours.

Keywords: Adult Peoples; Vegetable Consumption; Fruit Consumption; Self-Rated Health Status; Ordinal Logistic Regression; Brazil


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Citation: Pedro Olivares-Tirado and Rosendo Zanga. “Associations of Vegetable and Fruit Consumption and Self-Rated Health Status among Brazilian Adults".Acta Scientific Nutritional Health 7.5 (2023): 85-95.


Copyright: © 2023 Pedro Olivares-Tirado and Rosendo Zanga. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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