Socioeconomic inequalities in the consumption of fruits and vegetables: Colombian National Nutrition Survey, 2010

The objective of this study was to estimate inequalities in the consumption of fruits and vegetables. A multilevel study was performed based on cross-sectional data of adults from 18 to 64 years of age (n = 5,217) and in geodemographic units (n = 33). The consumption of fruits and vegetables was estimated with a food frequency questionnaire administered as part of the 2010 Colombian National Nutrition Survey (ENSIN). Inequality indices for the consumption of whole fruits and fruit juice and for raw and cooked vegetables were estimated using data on wealth, food security, geographical area and monetary poverty. The prevalence of the consumption of cooked vegetables was 64.8% (95%CI: 59.2-70.4) among men and the prevalence of the consumption of fruit juice was 86.1% (95%CI: 82.4-89.8) among women. The frequency of the consumption of fruit juice was 1.03 times/day (95%CI: 0.93-1.14) among women. The prevalence and frequency fruits and vegetables consumption per day for the three socioeconomic variables considered in this study are higher according to the higher socioeconomic level (p < 0.05), except for the consumption frequency of whole fruits/day (p = 0.24). At the individual level, the Gini coefficient for frequency/day ranged from 0.51 to 0.62. At the ecological level, the Gini index for prevalence ranged from 0.04 to 0.14; and for frequency/day ranged from 0.03 to 0.11. The Colombian population does not meet fruits and vegetables consumption recommendations. Men and women favor the consumption of fruit juice over whole fruits. The inequality in vegetable consumption is clear, with men at a disadvantage. The poor eat fewer fruits and vegetables.