Document Type : Research Articles
Public Health Physician, Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos& Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos State, Nigeria.
Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Division of Public Health, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, 375 Chipeta Way, Suite A, UT 84108, USA.
Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, 375 Chipeta Way, Suite A, UT 84108, USA.
Background: Inadequate consumption of fruit and vegetable is a risk factor for morbidity and mortality associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs). An understanding of the barriers and facilitators to consumption is important for effectiveness of intervention in Africa. We present insights among church members before developing a church-based multi-component intervention to address the inadequate consumption of fruit and vegetable. Methods: We conducted eighteen focus group discussions among 163 church members. All discussions were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim, and were analyzed for thematic content. Results: We identified five main themes; Personal: awareness and knowledge of benefits, choice, habits, and curiosity, dietary restrictions and gastrointestinal symptoms following fruit and vegetable consumption. Familial: practices promoting the ready availability of fruit and vegetables in the home or habits that encourage children to eat vegetables as they transition into adulthood, pre-existing health problems of family members and the long preparation time of some traditional vegetables. Socio-cultural: Cultural practices that encourage F&V consumption, the high cost of fruits and vegetables, alternatives foregone, and cultural taboos. Environmental: inadequate farmland and storage facilities, seasonality of several fruit and vegetables, and sharp practices of force-ripening with chemicals. Church-related: inadequate space provided by the church for arable cultivation and lack of knowledge of the benefits among church leaders, church activities that involve serving fruits and vegetables and the biblical support for the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Conclusion: It is essential to leverage practices that promote fruit and vegetable intake and address barriers mentioned by the participants when designing such interventions.