Food consumption of Sri Lankan adults: an appraisal of serving characteristics
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Objective: The main aim of the present study was to identify food consumption in Sri Lankan adults based on serving characteristics. Design: Cross-sectional study. Fruits, vegetables, starch, meat, pulses, dairy products and added sugars in the diet were assessed with portion sizes estimated using standard methods. Setting: Twelve randomly selected clusters from the Sri Lanka Diabetes and Cardiovascular Study. Subjects: Six hundred non-institutionalized adults. Results: The daily intake of fruit (0.43), vegetable (1.73) and dairy (0.39) portions were well below national recommendations. Only 3.5 % of adults consumed the recommended 5 portions of fruits and vegetables/d; over a third of the population consumed no dairy products and fewer than 1 % of adults consumed 2 portions/d. In contrast, Sri Lankan adults consumed over 14 portions of starch and 3.5 portions of added sugars daily. Almost 70 % of those studied exceeded the upper limit of the recommendations for starch intake. The total daily number of meat and pulse portions was 2.78. Conclusions: Dietary guidelines emphasize the importance of a balanced and varied diet; however, a substantial proportion of the Sri Lankan population studied failed to achieve such a recommendation. Nutrition-related diseases in the country may be closely correlated with unhealthy eating habits.
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