The Open Nutraceuticals Journal


ISSN: 1876-3960 ― Volume 8, 2015

Study of Functional Foods Consumption Patterns Among Decedents Dying Due to Various Causes of Death

The Open Nutraceuticals Journal, 2015, 8: 16-28

Ram B. Singh, Pradeep Visen, Divyank Sharma, Sarthak Sharma, Ratin Mondo, J.P. Sharma, Meena Sharma, Miki Tokunaga, Toru Takahashi, Sanjay Mishra, Akanshi Sharma, Monika Jain, Fatima Marinho, Raina PaL

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada.

Electronic publication date 27/2/2015
[DOI: 10.2174/1876396001508010016]


Western diet appears to be a risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), diabetes and cancer whereas dietary supplements of functional foods rich Mediterranean diets are inversely associated, among individuals and populations with underlying lack of general and health education. We have only scanty information about functional foods which may be considered as nutraceuticals. The prevalence of optimal functional food eating behavior pattern in the population is unknown. This study examines the prevalence of optimal functional foods eating behavior as a protective factor among victims dying due to NCDs to find out the accuracy of the verbal autopsy questionnaire.

Subjects and Methods:
Death records of 2,222 (1,385 men and 837 women) decedents, aged 25-64 years, out of 3,034 death records, were randomly selected and studied by verbal autopsy questionnaires. All the risk factors and protective factors were assessed by questionnaires which were completed with the help of the victim’s spouse and a local treating doctor, by a trained scientist. The lack of knowledge on health education about the role of adverse effects of Western foods was assessed by the questionnaires. Functional food intake was considered in presence of fruit, vegetable and legume intake of minimum 250g/day (moderate) and ideally 400g/day consistent with WHO guidelines.

The prevalence of optimal prudent foods intake behavior; fruit, vegetable and legume (>250g/day) intake were observed among 51.4% (n=712) men and 50.4% (n=422) women. Western type food (>255g/day)intake was observed among 63.2% (n=875)men and 59.9% (n=502) women. The prevalence of optimal functional food intake was significantly greater among men compared to women (19.4 vs 14.6%, P<0.05). The consumption of functional food not fruits; grapes and apples, guava, stargoose berry and lemon and onion, garlic ginger was significantly greater among men as compared to women. Other functional foods such as soy products, mustard or olive oil, curd or yogurt, nuts and fish, tea and cocoa, spices; turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds and peppers intake showed no significant difference between two sexes.

Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that after adjustment of age and body weight, total functional foods intakes and fruit, vegetable, legume and nuts intake were significantly inversely associated with deaths due to NCDs, whereas Western type foods (red meat and eggs, refined foods ) were positively associated with these causes of deaths, in both sexes. Total spices intake, mustard/olive oil intake and curd or yogurt intake, were inversely but weakly associated with causes of deaths due to NCDs, among both men and women. The prevalence of protective behavior pattern was observed among half of the victims, dying due to injury and accidents where such behaviors were uncommon among decedents dying due to NCDs.

It is possible that protective health behavior about functional food intake can be accurately assessed by a verbal autopsy questionnaire administered to a spouse of the decedents among Indians. The consumption of functional food appears to be lower among victims dying due to CVDs and cancer.

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