Factors associated with fruit and vegetable intake among adults of the city of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil

OBJECTIVE: To describe the frequency of fruit and vegetable intake by adults and to assess factors associated with this frequency. METHODS: Cross-sectional study, carried out between October and December 2003 in the municipality of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil. Telephone interviews were conducted on a probabilistic sample of the adult population (>18 years) living in the city of Sao Paulo and with access to land telephone lines, totaling 1,267 women and 855 men. Frequency of fruit and vegetable intake was obtained by means of a questionnaire containing short, simple questions. Association of different factors with fruit and vegetable intake was assessed by multivariate linear regression using a hierarchic model with sociodemographic variables in the first hierarchical level, behavioral variables in the second, and diet-related variables in the third. RESULTS: Frequency of fruit and vegetable intake was higher among women. For both sexes, frequency of intake increased with age and schooling. Intake was also higher among women who reported having been on a diet during the last year. Consumption of foods indicative of an unhealthy diet such as sugars and fats was inversely associated with fruit and vegetable intake among subjects of both sexes. CONCLUSIONS: Fruit and vegetable intake in the adult population of Sao Paulo was higher among women, and was influenced by age, schooling, and diet.

Adult; Food Consumption; Feeding Behavior; Cross-Sectional Studies; Diet Surveys

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