The FAO/WHO recommends a minimum intake of fruits 160 g/day and 240 g/day of vegetables, and a combined intake of 400 g/day for normal healthy adults for prevention of chronic diseases and alleviation of micronutrient deficiencies. For vulnerable populations in resource-constrained setting, these recommendations may not be met. In this cross-sectional study, levels of fruits and vegetable consumption among HIV-infected pregnant women from resource-constrained setting in Nairobi, Kenya were assessed in selected Nairobi City County’s health facilities. Semi-qualitative food frequency questionnaire was used to collect data on consumption of fruits and vegetables. Quantities of vegetables consumed were estimated from pre-established serving spoon sizes and scoops. The quantities of fruits were determined by weighing edible parts of similar sizes purchased from the locality. Only 51.0% of study participants reported consumption of fruits, with a mean intake (SE) 189.6 (16.8) g/day. Of those who reported consumption of fruits, 75.1% of them met the FAO/WHO recommended intake levels. This was significantly different by area of residence (χ²=57.7, df=3, p=0.000). Consumption of vegetables was reported by 75.0% of participants, with a mean (SE) intake of 111.5 (8.0) g/day. However, only 16.0% of those who reported consumption of vegetables met the FAO/WHO recommendation, and, this was significantly different by age (χ²=9.0, df=1, p=0.003) and residential area (χ²=36.5, df=3, p=0.000). Overall, the mean (SE) quantity of combined fruits and vegetables consumed was 301.2 (21.3) g/day. Only 36.7% met the FAO/WHO recommended minimum requirements for health. This was significantly different by residential area (χ²=75.8, df=3, p=0.000). In conclusion, consumption of fruits and vegetables among HIVinfected pregnant women is below the minimum recommendation for health. This cannot guarantee protection against opportunistic infections and non-communicable diseases. Hence, the need to intensify promotion of consumption of these foods at all health-contact points with vulnerable HIVinfected pregnant women, on health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables.
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RUFORUM Working document series
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