Individual and community-level determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption in nine former Soviet Union countries

Yevgeniy Goryakin (Lead Author), Lorenzo Rocco, Marc Suhrcke, Bayard Roberts, Martin McKee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: To explain patterns of fruit and vegetable consumption in nine former Soviet Union countries by exploring the influence of a range of individual- and community-level determinants.

Design: Cross-sectional nationally representative surveys and area profiles were undertaken in 2010 in nine countries of the former Soviet Union as part of the Health in Times of Transition (HITT) study. Individual- and area-level determinants were analysed, taking into account potential confounding at the individual and area level.

Setting: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

Subjects: Adult survey respondents (n 17 998) aged 18–95 years.

Results: Being male, increasing age, lack of education and lack of financial resources were associated with lower probability of consuming adequate amounts of fruit or vegetables. Daily fruit or vegetable consumption was positively correlated with the number of shops selling fruit and vegetables (for women) and with the number of convenience stores (for men). Billboard advertising of snacks and sweet drinks was negatively related to daily fruit or vegetable consumption, although the reverse was true for billboards advertising soft drinks. Men living near a fast-food outlet had a lower probability of fruit or vegetable consumption, while the opposite was true for the number of local food restaurants.

Conclusions: Overall fruit and vegetable consumption in the former Soviet Union is inadequate, particularly among lower socio-economic groups. Both individual- and community-level factors play a role in explaining inadequate nutrition and thus provide potential entry points for policy interventions, while the nuanced influence of community factors informs the agenda for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2825-2835
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number15
Early online date17 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Nutrition
  • ruit and vegetable consumption
  • Socio-economic determinants

Cite this