Low Fruit & Vegetable Consumption and Risky Food Safety Behavior Among Older Persons

  • I. Marklinder
  • E. Thelin
  • A. Wiström
  • M. Nydahl


Background: Previous studies indicate that older people are not well aware of dietary recommendations according fruit and vegetable consumption. Further, older people are not aware of risks about food safety and those who are still living at home might be a vulnerable group when it comes to obtain relevant health information. Methods: A questionnaire was responded by 317 respondents (73% women, n=232; and 22% men, n=70 men; 5%, n=15 excluded) in central part of Sweden. Confirmatory Factor Analysis were used as a statistical method (SAS 9.3). Finding: Few respondents reported a daily intake of fruit and vegetables of exactly 5 portions. There was a significant association between knowing the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables to be eaten per day and the amount actually eaten. The results also show a significant association between fruit and vegetable consumption showing that women consume more than men and that responders living together eat more than those living alone. Positive correlations imply that answering that it is harmful to taste raw minced meat will raise the probability of actually not tasting raw minced meat. One reason not to taste raw minced meat is that it might contain Verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli, a dangerous of bacteria. Regarding refrigerator temperature, the study indicates that it was common to think that 8 °C, since this is the temperature often written on food products. A negative correlation is indicating that the respondents do not know the recommended temperature for the refrigerator which should be < 5°C. Discussion: The present results are in line with earlier studies performed in this group. Knowledge regarding daily consumption of fruit and vegetables as well as an awareness of the risks of tasting raw minced meat might have an impact on behavior. Further research should focus on relevant channels for health communication targeting older people. One limitation of this study might be that the larger proportion was women. Thus, further studies should include a larger proportion of men.
Poster presentations