Comparison of dietary behavior, changes of diet, and food intake between 40-59 years old subjects living in urban and rural areas in Lao PDR

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Abstract

Purpose: The current study was conducted for evaluation and comparison of dietary behavior and food intake in different regions of Lao PDR. Methods: The survey was conducted on 979 people aged 40-59 years old living in 25 urban provinces and 25 rural provinces in four districts (VTE Capital-Chanthabuly, Xaysetha, VTE Province-Phonhong, and Thoulakhom) of Laos. General demographic information, health status, and dietary behavior were surveyed using a questionnaire. Results: The literacy ratio (p = 0.000), education level (p = 0.000), asset ownership level (p = 0.000), and government and private employee ratio (p = 0.000) were higher in urban subjects compared with rural subjects. The mean value of weight (p = 0.000), waist circumference (p = 0.000), and diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.009) and alcohol consumption (p = 0.000), self-rated health status (p = 0.001), and the rate of obesity (p = 0.000) were significantly higher in urban subjects compared with rural subjects. However, the rate of current smoker was significantly higher in the rural group (p = 0.023). Meals are becoming more westernized by higher frequency of eating out, consumption of fatty meat and fried or stir-fried food in urban areas compared to rural areas. Urban subjects had relatively better balanced meals compared to rural subjects whereas they consumed insufficient meals per day and consumed meals irregularly compared to rural subjects. Intake of fruit and milk was significantly higher in urban subjects compared with rural subjects. However, the intake of vegetables was significantly higher in rural areas than urban areas. Conclusion: The result of this study showed that the traditional Lao diet is being replaced by an unhealthy western dietary pattern, which may be a risk factor for increasing development of non-communicable disease (NCD) in Lao PDR. Planning of proper personalized nutritional intervention and education in each area is needed to decrease the health risks of NCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-124
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Nutrition and Health
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2016

Keywords

  • Dietary behavior
  • Lao PDR
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Westernization

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