Rapid urbanization continues to be a main theme in low- and middle-income countries, and with that movement come significant changes to how and why people choose the food they eat, where they purchase and prepare it, and what the structure of their diets is.
A recent national survey in Nigeria revealed insufficient vegetable consumption. A4NH researchers from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Wageningen University & Research undertook an analysis of vegetable consumption among women from different socioeconomic classes living in urban areas in Nigeria to better understand how consumer experiences and the food environment, as well as other drivers, contribute to food choice in the context of vegetables and options for healthy eating.
Their work studied a variety of factors, revealing barriers to vegetable consumption that included convenience, affordability, access, safety, and cultural norms. Respondents reported eating an average of 2.55 servings of vegetables per day, with a far greater share of those vegetables eaten as cooked, rather than raw. Most respondents purchased fresh vegetables, with a significant share of canned vegetables purchased, as well. Results included a great degree of detail not only on these categories, but on the specific types of vegetables consumed, as well, and broke that information down into socioeconomic categories to give a clear understanding of vegetable consumption drivers and behaviors in these communities.
In addition to the data, the researchers identified interventions that might address limiting factors in both consumer behavior and the food environment. Their analysis was published in Sustainability in 2018.
Find the paper here: Drivers of Vegetable Consumption in Urban Nigeria: Food Choice Motives, Knowledge, and Self-Efficacy
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