Keywords: fruit, vegetables, vegetable consumption, USSR immigrants, dietary consumption patterns, obesity rates, chronic diseases, Russia, Israel, native population, dietary intake, health status, heart attacks, hypertension, BMI, body mass index, vitamins
Differences in dietary consumption patterns and obesity rates between immigrants from the former USSR and a country's native population
This study compared dietary intake, obesity rates and chronic disease prevalence between former USSR immigrants and the native Israeli population using random sample survey and dietary intake assessment. USSR immigrants had significantly higher BMI (27.6 ± 5.0 vs. 26.5 ± 4.7kg/m², P = 0.002) despite lower energy intake (1547.8 ± status (51% vs. 74%, P < 0.01), and higher incidence of heart attack (17% vs. 9%, P < 0.01) and hypertension (37% vs. 24%, P < 0.01). They consumed significantly less vitamin D, iron, calcium, folate, riboflavin and sodium (P < 0.01) and significantly less vitamin C and E, B6, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and niacin (P < 0.05). Immigration status and diseases were significant predictors for obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m², OR = 1.66, P = 0.003 and OR = 1.17, P = 0.01). Former USSR immigrants are at increased risk for obesity and other chronic diseases and should be encouraged to consume more green vegetables, to lower energy density.