Kenya men are eating more fruits and vegetables than women, show data from the health ministry.
In general eating of fruits and vegetables, the data shows is declining in Kenya.
Only about six per cent of Kenyans are consuming the recommended five servings of vegetables and fruits per day compared to 13 per cent in 2004.
A new analysis of data on 4,479 Kenyans, collected earlier by the ministry, shows the Luo to eat more of these healthy foods than other ethnic groups.
In details not teased out before, the new study, shows that Kikuyus and Luos eat more fruits that other ethnic groups in Kenya.
However Luos are likely to eat more of both fruits and vegetables than other ethnic groups in Kenya.
Consumption of fruits and vegetables among women the report shows to be lower than in men.
This new analysis published last week shows several characteristics on fruit and vegetable eating habits in Kenya.
Urban, better educated, wealthier, younger adults, males, Kikuyu or Luo are likely to eat fruits than other Kenyans.
But it also shows less educated, poorer and rural Kenyans are likely to eat more vegetables than other groups.
Education, wealth, age and gender the study says are important in determining the consumption of fruits and vegetables in the country.
The World Health Organization recommends the consumption of at least 400 g or five servings of fruits and vegetables (FAV) per day.
If one increases the daily intake further to 600 g per day, the health body says they would significantly reduce the risk of some disease such as cancers and heart conditions.
The study was published on Wednesday (24th October 2018) in the Pan African Medical Journal by Mahidol University, Thailand and University of Limpopo, South Africa.
The team had revisited data collected earlier by the Ministry of Health in Kenya’s first ever national survey on risk factors promoting non-communicable diseases.
The study: Kenya STEPwise Survey for Non Communicable Diseases Risk Factors, had interrogated 4,479 households across Kenya.
The survey had targeted adults aged 18-69 and collected data on education, wealth, ethnicity and age among others.
Only 15 per cent of participants consumed some amount of fruits daily, with about half taking some kind of vegetables daily which is worryingly low.
The study also reports lower consumption of vegetables among younger people and calls for promotional efforts targeting this group.
But more interesting is the finding than men consume more fruits and vegetables than women.
“Some previous studies found lower consumption of fruits and vegetables among men, this study however found lower consumption of FAV among women than men.”
The study does not explain why this finding but indicates higher incomes and higher education may especially lead to more consumption of fruits.
The authors say generally there is very low consumption of fruit and vegetable in Kenya and call for urgent promotional efforts.