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Home availability of fruit and vegetables and obesogenic foods as an indicator of nutrient intake in 50 year olds from Canterbury, New Zealand


Background and Objectives: The home food environment is known to influence children's diet and selected health outcomes. However, similar research in adults is scarce. The home is arguably the most important food environment for New Zealand adults as the majority of food consumed is stored and prepared in the home. Therefore we investigated relationships between home food availability and nutrient intake in 50 year olds from Canterbury, New Zealand. Methods and Study Design: A cross-sectional study where participants completed a home food inventory and a four-day estimated food diary. Regression analysis was used to investigate relationships between home availability of 'Fruit and Vegetables' and 'Obesogenic Foods' and intake of selected nutrients, adjusting for Body Mass Index and demographic factors. Men and women (n=216) aged 50 were randomly selected from Canterbury District Health Board area electoral rolls. Results: Women with a high 'Obesogenic Foods' score were significantly more likely to have a high intake of saturated fat (OR 5.8, CI: 1.67, 19.6) and high sugar intake (OR 3.1, CI: 1.23, 7.58). Men with a high 'Obesogenic Foods' score were less likely to have high folate (OR 0.14, CI: 0.05, 0.40) and fibre intake (OR 0.21, CI: 0.07, 0.60). Men and women with a higher 'Fruit and Vegetables' score were more likely to have high vitamin C intake (OR 5.6 and 4.5 respectively). Conclusions: Home Food Inventory scores are associated with selected nutrient intakes, particularly in women, suggesting that they are useful for identifying those groups with less favourable nutrient intakes. Future research should investigate whether these scores can predict health outcomes.