Fruit and vegetable intake in relation to health-related and socio-economic characteristics among parents-to-be in Västerbotten, Sweden

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för kostvetenskap; Umeå universitet/Institutionen för kostvetenskap


Background This study was part of the Salut programme with the goal to improve the health and well-being of the population of Västerbotten. The target group in this study were the parents-to-be. An adequate fruit and vegetable (FV) intake can contribute to a better health and can be influenced by several factors. This can be used to describe the characteristics for different groups.Aims The aim of this study was to describe the FV intake among parents-to-be in Västerbotten. A further aim was to examine what characterizes parents-to-be who eat different amounts of FV regarding to Body Mass Index (BMI), meal types, snack consumption, physical activity (PA), level of education, habits of life and satisfaction with economic situation.Method A cross-sectional study design was used. The data were collected by using health forms designed by Salut, which were distributed to the parents-to-be (nmothers=4352, nfathers/partners=3965) by midwives. Data was analyzed with SPSS. Chi2 test was used to analyse differences between those with a FV intake below or according the recommendation and Mann-Whitney U-Test was used to compare the mothers- with the fathers-to-be. The significance level was set to 0.05.Results Of the mothers- and fathers/partners-to-be respectively up to 23.5% and 6.9% met the FV recommendations. Based on the BMI, 25.9% of the mothers-to-be and 52.1% of the fathers/partners-to-be was overweight or obese. PA (p<0.001), habits of life (p<0.001) satisfaction with economic situation (pmothers=0.044, pfathers=0.005) and highest level of completed education (pmothers<0.001, pfathers=0.005) were positively associated with the FV intake.Conclusion The FV intake was associated with several characteristics and there were significant differences between the mothers- and fathers-to-be. This information can be used to design and implement an intervention to increase the FV intake to improve the health and well-being of the population of Västerbotten.

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