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    192502
    Peer Reviewed

    The challenge of measuring global fruit and vegetable intake.

    Pomerleau J; Lock K; McKee M; Altmann DR

    Journal of Nutrition. 2004 May; 134(5):1175-1180.

    The WHO recently conducted, within its Global Burden of Disease 2000 Study, a Comparative Risk Assessment (CRA) to estimate the global health effect of low fruit and vegetable intake. This paper summarizes the methods used to obtain exposure data for the CRA and provides estimates of worldwide fruit and vegetable intakes. Intakes were derived from 26 national population-based surveys, complemented with food supply statistics. Estimates were stratified by 14 subregions, 8 age groups, and gender. Subregions were categorized on the bases of child mortality under age 5 y and 15- to 59-y-old male mortality (A: very low child and adult mortality; B: low child and adult mortality; C: low child, high adult mortality; D: high child and adult mortality; E: high child, very high adult mortality). Mean intakes were highest in Europe A [median = 449 g/(person • d)] and the Western Pacific Region A. They were lowest in America B [median = 192 g/(person • d)], and low in Europe C, the South East Asian Regions B and D, and Africa E. Children and elderly individuals generally had lower intakes than middle-aged adults. SDs varied considerably by region, gender, and age [overall median = 223 g/(person • d)]. Assessing exposure levels for the CRA had major methodological limitations, particularly due to the lack of nationally representative intake data. The results showed mean intakes generally lower than current recommendations, with large variations among subregions. If the burden of disease attributable to dietary factors is to be assessed more accurately, more countries will have to assess the dietary intake of their populations using comparable methods. (author's)
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