Objective: To evaluate the habitual diet of a rural and urban population in Cameroon, Central Africa.
Setting: An urban area-Cité Verte Housing District, Yaoundé (1058 subjects); and a rural area-three villages in Evodoula, Cameroon (746 subjects).
Subjects: Cameroonian men and women of African origin (1058 urban, and 746 rural), aged 24-74 y.
Methods: The habitual diet was estimated with an interviewer-administered food frequency questionnaire.
Main outcome measures: Macro- and micronutrient intake.
Results: The intake of energy, fat and alcohol was higher in rural men and women than in urban subjects. In rural women, the intake of carbohydrates and protein was also higher. The intakes of fibre, iron, carotene, zinc, potassium, and of the vitamins C, D and E were all higher in rural men and women than in their urban counterparts. The intake of retinol was lower in rural subjects than in urban subjects. Eight of the 10 foods eaten in the highest amount and contributing most to energy intake differed between the rural and urban population.
Conclusion: The habitual diet in rural Cameroon contains more fat and alcohol than the diet in urban Cameroon. The high physical activity in the rural area may explain the lower levels of the cardiovascular risk factors in this area compared to those of the urban dwellers.
Sponsorship: This work was supported by a grant from the European Union (contract no. TS3*CT92-0142) and by the Conseil Régional d'Ile de France and INSERM. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000) 54, 150-154