Access to Information Technologies and Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables in South Africa: Evidence from Nationally Representative Data

Sikhulumile Sinyolo, Catherine Ndinda, Conrad Murendo, Sithembile A. Sinyolo, Mudzunga Neluheni
2020 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  
Extensive evidence indicates that fruit and vegetable (F+V) consumption leads to reduced chances of diet related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). However, the F+V consumption levels remain low. This paper investigates the extent to which access to information technologies improves F+V consumption in South Africa. A nationally representative sample of 20,908 households was analysed using the Poisson and logit regression models. The study results indicated that most households do not consume
more » ... do not consume sufficient F+V per day. Only 26% of the household heads consumed F+V at least five times a day. Access to mobile phones, radio, television, and internet was associated with increasing frequency of F+V consumption, and higher chances that a household would consume the minimum recommended levels. The association between the communication technologies and F+V consumption varied. Television access had the highest association with both foods, while internet was only significantly associated with vegetable consumption. Several demographic and socio-economic factors played a key role in shaping F+V consumption patterns. The results show that there is scope to disseminate nutrition awareness and education programs, through mobile phones, internet, radio and television in South Africa. The interventions to promote F+V consumption should be tailored according to the different socio-economic profiles of the population.
doi:10.3390/ijerph17134880 pmid:32645827 fatcat:6xqwsxvzwzhepesusyl4m64osu