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Fruit and vegetable consumption and anemia among adult non-pregnant women: Ghana Demographic and Health Survey
Authors: Bishwajit Ghose, and Sanni Yaya
Source: PeerJ, 6:e4414; DOI:
Topic(s): Anemia
Child health
Women's health
Country: Africa
Published: FEB 2018
Abstract: Background Anemia is the most widely prevalent form of micronutrient deficiency that affects over a quarter of the global population. Evidence suggests that the burden of anemia is higher in the developing countries with women of reproductive age and children being the most at-risk groups. The most common causes are believed to be malnutrition and low bioavailability of micronutrients, which usually result from poor dietary habits and inadequate intake of food rich in micronutrients such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Regular consumption of F&V was shown to have protective effect against NCDs; however, evidence on this protective effect against micronutrient deficiency diseases are limited. Objectives (1) To measure the prevalence of anemia among adult non-pregnant women in Ghana, and (2) to investigate if there is any cross-sectional relationship between F&V consumption and anemia. Methods This is a cross-sectional study based on data extracted from the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, 2008. Subjects were 4,290 non-pregnant women aged between 15 and 49 years. Hemoglobin levels were measured by HemoCue® hemoglobin-meter. Association between anemia and F&V consumption was assessed by multivariable regression methods. Results Findings indicate that well over half (57.9%) of the women were suffering from anemia of some level. The percentage of women consuming at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day were 5.4% and 2.5% respectively. Results of multivariable analysis indicated that among urban women, consumption of <5 servings fruits/day was associated with significantly higher odds of severe [AOR = 9.27; 95% CI [5.15–16.70]] and moderate anemia [AOR = 6.63; 95% CI [4.21–10.44]], and consumption of <5 servings of vegetables/day was associated with higher odds of moderate anemia [AOR = 2.39; 95% CI [1.14–5.02]] compared with those who consumed >5 servings/day. Conclusion The findings indicate that urban women who did not maintain WHO recommended level of F&V consumption bear a significantly higher likelihood of being moderate to severely anemic.