State-level income inequality and the odds for meeting fruit and vegetable recommendations among US adults

Masako Horino, Sze Yan Liu, Eun Young Lee, Ichiro Kawachi, Roman Pabayo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background Previous research indicates that income inequality is associated with risk for mortality, self-rated health status, chronic conditions, and health behavior, such as physical activity. However, little is known about the relationship between income inequality and dietary intake, which is a major risk factor for common chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancers. The objective of this study is to determine the association between US state income inequality and fruit and vegetable consumption among adults. Methods Cross-sectional data on 270,612 U.S. adults from the U.S. 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System was used. Fruit and vegetable consumption was assessed from the six-item fruit and vegetable frequency questionnaire, which is part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Multilevel modeling was used to determine whether US state-level income inequality (measured by the z-transformation of the Gini coefficient) was associated with fruit and vegetable consumption adjusting for individual-level and state-level covariates. Results In comparison to men, women were more likely to consume fruits and vegetables ≥5 times daily, fruits ≥2 times daily, vegetables ≥3 times of daily, and less likely to consume fruit juice daily. Among both men and women, a standard deviation increase in Gini coefficient was associated with an increase in consuming fruit juice daily (OR = 1.07, 95% CI = 1.03, 1.11). However, among women, a standard deviation increase in Gini coefficient.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0238577
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9 September
StatePublished - Sep 2020


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