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Fruit and vegetable consumption among South Asians: A systematic review and meta-analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 13:00 authored by Jayawardena, R, Jeyakumar, DT, Gamage, M, Sooriyaarachchi, P, Andrew HillsAndrew Hills

Background and aims: Low consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with high prevalence of non-communicable diseases, especially among South Asians. The aim of our study was to systematically review data published on fruit and vegetable intake among South Asian countries.

Methods: This review included 43 studies conducted from December 1999 to 2019 among South Asians. Literature searching was undertaken in PubMed database and World Health Organization website. The main outcomes were pooled using random effect meta-analysis.

Results: The highest fruit consumption by both men and women (2.4 servings/day) was found in Bhutan (2004) while the lowest reports (0.43 servings/day) were from Sri Lanka (2011) and Bangladesh (2002). With regard to vegetable consumption, Indians (2007) had the lowest reported intake (0.9 servings/day), while the highest value, 3.8 servings/day, was reported in Bhutanese adults (2014). When both intakes were considered, the highest (4.28; 95% CI, 4.02 to 4.55; p=0.15; I2=51%, p<0.001) and the lowest (1.83; 95% CI, 1.41 to 2.25; p<0.001; I2=100%, p<0.001) pooled mean values, were attained for Bhutan and Bangladesh, respectively. The highest percentage of respondents (86.2%) achieved the World Health Organization recommendation of five fruit and vegetables (400 g) per day in Afghanistan (2013) whereas the lowest (0%) reported in Bangladesh (2005).

Conclusions: Residents of almost all South Asian countries appear to consume extremely low quantities of fruit and vegetables, lower than the World Health Organization recommendation. Hence, immediate initiatives should be implemented to enhance the intake of fruit and vegetables across the region.


Publication title

Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews










College Office - College of Health and Medicine


Elsevier Inc.

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Diabetes India

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other health not elsewhere classified