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Review of policies to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity in 49 low- and middle-income countries

03 Mar 2018

AbstractBackgroundInadequate physical activity (PA) and consumption of fruits and vegetables (FV) are known risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Consequently, the World Health Organization (WHO) encourages the development of policies to increase PA and FV consumption. We reviewed available policies between 2004 and 2013 to increase FV consumption and PA from a convenience sample of 49 LMICs.MethodInformation on national policies were obtained from government ministries involved with the formulation of nutrition and PA policies, WHO databases and from PubMed and Scopus.ResultsOf the 49 countries, 57% had policies to increase FV consumption, and 76% had policies to promote PA. Policy reviews indicated strategies that focus on schools, communities, the general public, the environment, the economy, mass media and WHO recommendations. Of the 28 countries with FV policies, 18% had formulated policies that met the WHO recommendations for daily intake of FV. Likewise, of the 37 countries with PA policies, 24% had policies that promoted the WHO recommendations for daily PA.ConclusionGreater progress has been made in developing policies to increase PA compared to policies to increase FV consumption in low- and middle-income countries. However, most countries are still lagging behind in developing policies to meet the WHO recommendations.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Journal of Public Health