Barriers and facilitators to fruit and vegetable consumption among rural Indian women of reproductive age

Sarah Kehoe, Varsha Dhurde, Shilpa Bhaise, Rashmi Kale, Kalyanaraman Kumaran, Aulo Gelli, R. Rengalakshmi, Wendy Lawrence, Ilse Bloom, Sirazul A. Sahariah, Ramesh D. Potdar, Caroline Fall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Micronutrient insufficiencies are a serious public health problem among women of reproductive age in Low and Middle Income Countries including India, adversely affecting maternal health and economic productivity, and child growth and educational outcomes. Fruit and vegetables are important sources of micronutrients and consumption of these foods is less than recommendations.

Objective: To identify perceived barriers and facilitators to fruit and vegetable consumption among women of reproductive age living in rural communities in Eastern Maharashtra, India.

Methods: We used qualitative methods and held 9 focus group discussions and 12 one to one interviews. The data collection was stopped when no new information emerged. We used inductive thematic coding to analyse the data. Women aged 18-40 years were recruited from eight villages surrounding the city of Wardha, Maharashtra, India.

Results: Women knew that fruit and vegetables were beneficial to health and expressed that they wanted to increase intakes of these foods for themselves and their children. Seven main themes were identified as being barriers or facilitators to fruit and vegetable consumption: 1) Personal factors; 2) Household dynamics; 3) Social and Cultural Norms; 4) Workload; 5) Time pressures; 6) Environmental Factors; 7) Cost.
Conclusions: Rural Indian women consumed fruit and vegetables infrequently and said they would like to consume more. Several potentially modifiable factors affecting intakes were identified. Value chain analyses of fruit and vegetables in these communities are important to identify opportunities to intervene to increase consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • fruit
  • vegetable
  • women of reproductive age
  • India


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