Fruit and Vegetable Consumption among Immigrants in Portugal: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Oct 19;15(10):2299. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15102299.


This study aims to compare adequate fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake between immigrants and natives in Portugal, and to analyse factors associated with consumption of F&V among immigrants. Data from a population based cross-sectional study (2014) was used. The final sample comprised 17,410 participants (≥20 years old), of whom 7.4% were immigrants. Chi-squared tests and logistic regression models were conducted to investigate the association between adequate F&V intake, sociodemographic, anthropometric, and lifestyle characteristics. Adequate F&V intake was more prevalent among immigrants (21.1% (95% CI: 19.0⁻23.4)) than natives (18.5% (95% CI: 17.9⁻19.1)), (p = 0.000). Association between migrant status and adequate F&V intake was only evident for men: immigrants were less likely to achieve an adequate F&V intake (OR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.66⁻0.68) when compared to Portuguese. Among immigrants, being female, older, with a higher education, and living in a low urbanisation area increased the odds of having F&V consumption closer to the recommendations. Adjusting for other factors, length of residence appears as a risk factor (15 or more years vs. 0⁻9 years: OR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.50⁻0.53), (p = 0.000) for adequate F&V intake. Policies aiming to promote adequate F&V consumption should consider both populations groups, and gender-based strategies should address proper sociodemographic, anthropometric, and lifestyle determinants.

Keywords: Portuguese; fruit; health; immigrant; vegetable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Eating*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portugal
  • Vegetables*
  • Young Adult