Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Fruit and vegetable consumption in the former Soviet Union: the role of individual- and community-level factors

Goryakin, Yevgeniy and Rocco, Lorenzo and Suhrcke, Marc and McKee, Martin and Roberts, Bayard (2015): Fruit and vegetable consumption in the former Soviet Union: the role of individual- and community-level factors. Published in: Public Health Nutrition , Vol. 18, No. 15 (2015): pp. 2825-2835.

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Objective: To explain patterns of fruit and vegetable consumption in nine former Soviet Union countries by exploring the influence of a range of individual- and community-level determinants.

Design: Cross-sectional nationally representative surveys and area profiles were undertaken in 2010 in nine countries of the former Soviet Union as part of the Health in Times of Transition (HITT) study. Individual- and area-level determinants were analysed, taking into account potential confounding at the individual and area level.

Setting: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. Subjects: Adult survey respondents (n 17 998) aged 18–95 years.

Results: Being male, increasing age, lack of education and lack of financial resources were associated with lower probability of consuming adequate amounts of fruit or vegetables. Daily fruit or vegetable consumption was positively correlated with the number of shops selling fruit and vegetables (for women) and with the number of convenience stores (for men). Billboard advertising of snacks and sweet drinks was negatively related to daily fruit or vegetable consumption, although the reverse was true for billboards advertising soft drinks. Men living near a fast-food outlet had a lower probability of fruit or vegetable consumption, while the opposite was true for the number of local food restaurants.

Conclusions: Overall fruit and vegetable consumption in the former Soviet Union is inadequate, particularly among lower socio-economic groups. Both individualand community-level factors play a role in explaining inadequate nutrition and thus provide potential entry points for policy interventions, while the nuanced influence of community factors informs the agenda for future research.

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