Consumption of, and factors influencing consumption of, fruit and vegetables among elderly Chinese people

Nutrition. 2012 May;28(5):504-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2011.07.023. Epub 2011 Dec 17.


Objective: There is substantial evidence that the low intake of fruit and vegetables (FV) is a major risk factor for many nutrition-related non-communicable diseases. The purpose of our study was to assess FV consumption and the variables that influence FV consumption among Chinese people age 60 and older.

Methods: Twenty-four-hour dietary recall data from the 1991, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2009 China Health and Nutrition Surveys were used to collect the FV intake and sociodemographic variables examined in this article. Data were analyzed using t tests, χ(2) tests, and logistic regression.

Results: Between 1991 and 2009, elderly Chinese adults experienced an improvement in dietary FV intake. The FV consumption increased from 325.7 g/d in 1991 to 379.0 g/d in 2009. During this 18-y period, the proportion of daily consumers increased from 11.0% to 32.5% for fruit and remained over 95% for vegetables. Age, gender, educational attainment, community, activity level, marital status, and drinking were significantly associated with FV consumption.

Conclusion: The findings of this study indicated that FV intake among elderly adults in China was lower than the minimum of 400 g/d recommended by the World Health Organization. Greater public health efforts and approaches are needed to promote FV consumption in elderly Chinese adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Body Mass Index
  • China
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Status
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Rural Population
  • Smoking
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population
  • Vegetables*