Fruit and vegetable consumption and sarcopenia among older adults in low- and middle-income countries

Ai Koyanagi, Nicola Veronese, Marco Solmi, Hans Oh, Jae Il Shin, Louis Jacob, Lin Yang, Josep Maria Haro, Lee Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Fruit and vegetable consumption may protect against sarcopenia but there are no studies on this topic from low‐ and middle‐income countries (LMICs). Thus, we assessed this association among older adults from six LMICs. Community‐based cross‐sectional data of the Study on Global Aging and Adult Health were analyzed. Sarcopenia was defined as the presence of low skeletal muscle mass based on indirect population formula, and either slow gait or low handgrip strength. Quintiles of vegetable and fruit consumption were created based on the number of servings consumed on a typical day. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted. The sample consisted of 14,585 individuals aged ≥65 years (mean (SD) age 72.6 (11.4) years; 55% females). Adjusted analyses showed that overall, compared to the lowest quintile (Q1), the highest quintile (Q5) of fruit consumption was associated with a 40% lower odds for sarcopenia (OR = 0.60; 95% CI = 0.42-0.84) but this association was largely driven by the strong association among females (e.g., Q5 vs. Q1 OR = 0.42; 95% CI = 0.24−0.73), with no significant associations found among males. Vegetable consumption was not significantly associated with sarcopenia. Future studies of longitudinal design may shed light on whether increasing fruit consumption among older females in LMICs may reduce risk for sarcopenia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number706
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Koyanagi, A., Veronese, N., Solmi, M., Oh, H., Shin, J. I., Jacob, L., Yang, L., Haro, J. M., & Smith, L. (2020). Fruit and vegetable consumption and sarcopenia among older adults in low- and middle-income countries. Nutrients, 12(3), [706].