Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Non-Communicable Diseases among Adults Aged ≥50 Years in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

L. Smith, Guillermo F. López Sánchez, N. Veronese, P. Soysal, H. Oh, Y. Barnett, H. Keyes, L. Butler, P. Allen, K. Kostev, L. Jacob, J. I. Shin, A. Koyanagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: The relationship between consuming ≥2 servings of fruits and ≥3 servings of vegetables a day, which has been identified as optimal for health (i.e., adequate fruit/vegetable consumption), and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is largely unknown. Therefore, using data from six LMICs, we investigated the independent association between inadequate fruit/vegetable consumption and 12 NCDs, and estimated the prevalence of inadequate fruit/vegetable consumption among people with NCDs. Design and Setting: Cross-sectional, nationally representative data from the WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) were analyzed. Participants: Data on 34129 individuals aged ≥50 years were analyzed [mean (SD) age 62.4 (16.0); maximum age 114 years; 52.1% females]. Measurements: Information on the number of servings of fruits and vegetables consumed on a typical day was self-reported. Twelve NCDs were assessed. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted. Results: Overall, 67.2% had inadequate fruit/vegetable consumption. Inadequate fruit/vegetable consumption was independently associated with significantly higher odds for chronic lung disease (OR=1.25), diabetes (OR=1.45), hearing problems (OR=1.75), and visual impairment (OR=2.50). The prevalence of inadequate fruit/vegetable consumption was particularly high among people with visual impairment (92.5%), depression (90.5%), asthma (79.8%), and hearing problems (78.4%). Conclusion: Promotion of fruit and vegetable consumption (≥2 servings of fruits and ≥3 servings of vegetables a day) in LMICs may lead to prevention of some NCDs (e.g., diabetes, chronic lung disease). Furthermore, people with certain NCDs (e.g., visual impairment, depression) had particularly high prevalence of inadequate fruit/vegetable consumption, and it is thus important to target this population to increase fruit/vegetable consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-1009
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: Dr. Guillermo F. López Sánchez is funded by the European Union — Next Generation EU.

Funding Information:
This paper uses data from WHO’s Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE). SAGE is supported by the U.S. National Institute on Aging through Interagency Agreements OGHA 04034785, YA1323-08-CN-0020, Y1-AG-1005-01 and through research grants R01-AG034479 and R21-AG034263.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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