KNOWLEDGE, PATTERN AND DETERMINANTS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION AMONG LOW INCOME CIVIL SERVANTS IN ZARIA METROPOLIS, NIGERIA.
The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are numerous as confirmed by several studies. This has informed the recommendation that at least 400g of fruits and vegetable be taken per person per day. However, the knowledge and intake of this essential aspect of nutrition is globally poor, more so among low income consumers. This study sought to elicit the knowledge, pattern and determinants of fruits and vegetable consumption among low income civil servants in Zaria metropolis Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling procedure was adopted in selecting four (4), government establishment and 310 respondents on salary grades level (GL) 01-06. Data generated from the interview of respondents using a structured questionnaire were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Results show that knowledge of health benefits was high at 83.8%, while actual consumption of regular basis was low at 33.4%. The consumption pattern for specific fruits and vegetables further revealed very dismal intake levels. Among the consumption determinants, age (r=0.133) was significant at p<0.05, while sex (r=0.256), family size (r=0.074), educational levels (r=0.135) and salary grade level (=0.057) were statistically significant at p<0.01 level respectively. Constraints limiting consumption were identified and ranked to include poor wages/salaries competing demands on income and high cost of fruits and vegetables in that order. Recommendations factored on mass sensitization have been proffered with a view to improving availability and consumption levels
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