The International Journal of Public Health has released a report concerning the response of young people to diet of Fruits and Vegetables (FV). From the research conducted within 26 countries in Asia, Africa and the Americans using university students (mean age 20.8) they came up with these findings:
82.8% of young adults consume less FV than needed on a daily basis by World Health Organization (WHO)
Both male and female students are involved in this poor consumption
Students who reside on campus are worse than those who go from home1.
The World Health Organisation (2017) has recently recommended a minimum daily consumption of vegetables of 400 grams, as a health strategy to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases. This is to take advantage of all the information available in the literature about the immense nutritional resources – vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and dietary fibre – contained in vegetables. This way, WHO hopes to reduce the rather high rate at which non-communicable diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, cancer, chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, osteoporosis, eye diseases, and dementia are increasing. In reaction to the World Health Organization recommended daily vegetable and fruit consumption, researchers have continued to investigate the extent at which this recommendation is adhered to by nations and different bodies. In Nigeria also, various studies were carried out amongst adolescents and young adults in relation to their consumption of fruits and vegetables. Layade and Adeoye researched on fruit and vegetable consumption among students of tertiary institutions in Oyo state. The assessment on tertiary students consumption of fruits and vegetables through multi-stage sampling technique showed that only 37% of the students consume the recommended intake. Silva. Ilesanmi, Ilesanmi and Ijarotimi , worked on Ibadan South West Nigeria researched on the determinants of fruit consumption among in- school adolescents and came up with the fact that parents income and availability are very significant factors that regulate young people’s intake. The same factors were discovered to motivate consumption of fruits and vegetables by students of tertiary institutions in Oyo State as Layade and Adeoye found out. Their study also revealed that only 37% of students consumed WHO recommended fruit and vegetables . Adenegan and Adeoye assessed University of Ibadan students to know their responses to fresh fruits against processed fruits. It was found out that students’ response to the consumption of fresh fruits was more than that of processed fruits. Income of students was statistically significant for the consumption of processed as well as fresh fruits. In addition to these studies on youths and their attitude to fruits and vegetable dieting done across institutions of learning in different parts of the country, Echeta in 2017 did a study on the relationship between Age and the consumption of fruits and vegetables using the students of University of Nigeria Nsukka. She findings were not different from the others and the younger they are the less they accept the diet. Findings from various studies both in Western part of the country and in Igbo land shows that most young people and children have no value for vegetable dishes. They prefer the modern foods and snacks. They like to eat to impress their peers and so they are worse of when they live outside their homes. The danger that lies ahead is what many medical experts have warned us about which is that the effect of this wrong dieting would manifest later in their lives( when they grow older)In fact, for some people the effect show up quite early in life. The world Health has stated their findings in a more specific way which is that 2.8% deaths worldwide are caused by low fruit and vegetable consumption. The ugly effect of our children’s wrong dieting should be a concern to us and solutions must be sought.
Parents should teach their children the importance of FV for good health and also make effort to provide fruits and vegetables in homes. Young people would normally eat fruits when they see them in the house. It is also important for us to draw their attention to the damages that can be caused by not eating. Emphasize the fact that this dietary plan is given by God himself and there is need for us to obey him. Let children know that anyone who obeys god makes God his friend and will surely be blessed like Daniel and three others. We should buy good vegetable supplements to add to their insufficient intake.
NB: In case you want to improve your fruit and vegetable intake, you can contact me personally through this line- 07036003492